I am pleased to announce that my HB 2206, that was unanimously approved by the General Assembly, was signed into law by Governor McAuliffe on 13 March. This bill was the number one priority of the Joint Leadership Council (JLC) of Veteran Services Organizations (VSO) this year, and I am proud to have been asked to carry it. The JLC is comprised of representatives of 25 VSOs who advise the Governor and General Assembly on veteran legislation.

HB2206 redefines the goals of the Virginia Veteran and Family Support Program, formerly Wounded Warrior, to help veterans and their families navigate the complex web of healthcare services available to them.

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Del. Cox with American Legion leaders.

Specifically, the bill reorganizes the Virginia Veterans and Family Support (VVFS) service line and converts the current 34 contract employees to Commonwealth employees on 1 July 2017. It also updates the purposes and priorities of the Virginia Veteran and Family Support program to, in a cost-effective manner, refer veterans to mental health, physical rehabilitation, and other services as needed to help them achieve individually identified goals and to monitor their progress toward achieving those goals.

The program is available to veterans and members of the Virginia National Guard in the Commonwealth, residents of the Commonwealth in the Armed Forces Reserves who are not in active federal service, and family members of military members who have been affected by the covered military members’ service and deployments and who are located in the Commonwealth.

VVFS services are still available to all service and family members as mentioned above. Director Betty Ann Liddell and her team are hard at work making sure everything will be ready on day one of the new fiscal year for a new and improved VVFS.

More information on VVFS and their resources as well as contact information can be obtained here.