On May 2, the Washington State Library sponsored a First Tuesday webinar titled “Thousands Eligible with Millions Unclaimed.” First Tuesday presentations are funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act.
Presenters from veteran service organizations WestCare Foundation, WAServes, and the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs described the array of social services and benefits available to veterans. Each of the speakers is an expert in coordinating services to veterans and their families. They are also all veterans or grew up in military families.
Roughly 600,000 veterans live in Washington state. Another 63,000 are active duty or reserve members. When family members are counted those numbers rise to 2,600,000. That translates to roughly 1 in 3 people living in Washington who are a veteran, an activity duty or reserve member, or a member of their families.
WestCare Foundation and WAServes manage a coordinated network to provide a high level of service to veterans and their families. That is where libraries come in. Libraries exist in almost every community throughout Washington, which makes them perfectly positioned to serve veterans and act as a point of referral back to WAServes and other helpful organizations.
More than 50% of the veterans living in Washington are age 65 and over. Washington also has the dubious distinction of having one of the highest concentrations of homeless veterans in the nation. Washington continues to be a focal point for supporting the war on terrorism with a number of large military bases located throughout the state.
Listen to this First Tuesdays webinar <embed webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J86RblsDtA&feature=youtu.be> to find out much more about how these organizations provide service to our veterans and what makes them unique in the area of veteran services.
Hundreds of organizations serve the state’s veteran population, and knowing which organization and number to call can be mystifying.
Here’s a ready-reference list of helpful organizations compiled by WAServes staff: