Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans - Milwaukee VA Medical Center
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Milwaukee VA Medical Center

 

Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans



What services do you offer for returning Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans?
Milwaukee VA is ready to provide health care and other medical services to our nation's returning Iraq and Afghanistan service members and has a team ready to welcome them as they begin using their health care benefits and assist with care coordination. Whether you need just primary care for basic health concerns and issues, or specialty care like pain management, physical therapy or mental health, we can help you get the specific care you need. Our team helps with filing for VA benefits for disability, education, home loans, financial and/or vocational assistance, establishing mental health treatment, and transitional and emotional support. 

 I’ve heard it will take me a year to get care at the VA, so why should I bother?
This is not accurate, and we encourage you to enroll for care and get an appointment. Most new patients can be seen for an initial appointment in less than two weeks. You can enroll in person at our enrollment office in the main hospital building, or online at eBenefits.gov. If you are a Veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan, we encourage you to call our office at 414-384-2000, ext. 41826. so we can assign an outreach specialist, who will help guide you through the system. For more information on all our wait times, click here.  

How do Mental Health services differ for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans?
Upon registering at the VA Hospital for health care, all Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans will be greeted by a nurse or social worker and triage any immediate needs.  If you need to speak with a mental health professional that same day, there is a mental health urgent care clinic available in the main hospital, Building 111, Room 1252.  Otherwise, you will be screened for future mental health care at the facility by your social worker at your first primary care appointment.  Future care may include one-on-one therapy, group therapy, medication management, residential treatment, specialized options such as art and yoga therapy, or a combination of those.

What do you offer in addition to regular treatment?
 In addition to “routine” outpatient health care, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans may be eligible for a one-time dental screening and cleaning if they enroll and request dental care within 180 days of their date of separation.  For chronic pain treatment, VA considers alternative treatment forms such as chiropractic or acupuncture care in the community -- if this course of treatment is recommended by your primary care provider.  In regard to mental health care, VA has a residential program for Veterans struggling with post-deployment issues, alcohol or drug abuse, or other serious mental health concerns, such as depression or anxiety.

I’ve heard you have yoga therapy just for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. What does that entail?
A registered yoga teacher leads a “Warrior Stance: yoga and relaxation” for any enrolled Veteran. It is meant to be a form of guided relaxation and meditation, so it does not require a certain amount of flexibility or yoga knowledge.  The class is tailored to individual physical needs. There is no co-pay or cost associated with this group.

Do you have any Mental Health support groups specifically for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and our family members?
 There are mental health groups for only Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans as well as a support group for family members of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. You can call outpatient mental health, the Iraq and Afghanistan outreach team, or your primary care social worker for information on when those groups meet. The Milwaukee Vet Center also offers counseling for family members. For more information on those options, call 414-434-1311.

I don’t feel comfortable talking about my war experiences with a civilian who has never been in Iraq or Afghanistan. Can I request a specific doctor who has served? 
The Milwaukee VA, including the Vet Center, has providers available that are either Veterans, serving in the Reserve or both.  It is possible to request these specific providers in order to assist in making your time here as comfortable as possible, and VA will attempt to accommodate this request.

How long will it take me to get an appointment at the VA?
The Iraq and Afghanistan team is always available to meet the same day you walk in the door. The VA is able to accommodate primary care appointments as quickly as possible. In the vast majority of cases, Veterans are given appointments in about two weeks.  Milwaukee VA’s primary care clinic also offers appointments on Saturdays between 8 a.m. and noon.

How long will it take me to get follow-up care at the VA?
The amount of time needed for follow-up care (i.e., specialty clinics recommended by your primary care provider) will vary by department. Some clinics, like physical therapy, can be scheduled the same day.  Others will require a doctor to respond to the consult, and then a scheduler will call you to set up the appointment.

Do you offer any specific care for women Veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan?
Please visit the Women Veterans webpage or visit Building 109, Women’s Resource Center.

What is Military Sexual Trauma?
Please click here to visit the MST webpage for more information.

Do you do any type of screening for Military Sexual Trauma for Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans?
Please visit the MST webpage for more information

Is there anything I need to specifically know if I am an Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran?
The most important thing to know is every VA Hospital in the nation has an Iraq and Afghanistan team, and we are here to help!

The Milwaukee VA provides combat veterans with free health care for conditions potentially related to combat service for up to five years following separation from active duty. At the end of the five-year period, you will then retain enrollment eligibility. Once enrolled in primary care, the Veteran will be assigned a provider, a nurse, and a social worker to attend to your physical and mental health needs.

Usually the provider will want to see you every 12 to 18 months to keep you enrolled in VA health care. Upon discharge from active duty, if you feel there are any physical or mental health injuries sustained, you are encouraged to file for service-connected benefits with the VA Regional Office, your local CVSO http://wicvso.org/locate-your-cvso/
or ebenefits.gov. The Iraq/Afghanistan office can be reached at 414-384-2000, ext. 41826 for any general questions or concerns related to the above.