FamilyOfaVet - Real world info about PTSD, TBI, & life after combat
FamilyOfaVet - Real World info about PTSD, TBI, & life after combat.

Help Navigating The VA

Navigating the Veterans Administration medical system, even after attending the numerous
transition briefings and other information sessions, can be tricky.  The VA has set-up a
wonderful resource for all of us that are part of the "new generation" of Veterans from Iraq
and Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, many people don't find out about it until they've been
trying to handle things on their own for months or even years.

best thing that happened to our family was finding out about the OIF/OEF Liaison
Office.  I'm not 100% sure that this office shares the same name at every VA Medical
Center, but I do know that there is one available at every location.  

If you or your Veteran are starting your journey within the Veteran's Administration, please
heed this hard earned advice!  Call the operator at your VAMC or go to the Information
Desk in the lobby and ask where the OIF/OEF office is (
CLICK HERE to go to the VA
facilities locator to get the main switchboard contact info for your VAMC).  When you first
talk to them, ask to be assigned an OIF/OEF Case Manager or Patient Advocate.  This
step will give you a
person (sometimes a rare thing within the VA) to whom you can go with
any questions, concerns, or when you need advice.

We found out about this program about six months after my husband was enrolled in the
VA.  Since being assigned an OIF Case Manager, my stress level in dealing with his
medical care, etc., has gone down tremendously.  We now have a kind face to go to when
things get difficult.  I have someone to call with random "What do we do now?" questions.  
And, most importantly, we have someone "watching our backs" and making sure my
husband is getting the best possible care.

Truly, truly, truly, I can't say enough good about this program!!!

If you find it difficult to connect with the OIF/OEF office at your VA Medical Center, send us
an e-mail at Info -at- with "OIF/OEF Office" in the subject line.  Our case
manager has kindly offered to help us find patient advocates or case managers for other
Veterans and their loved ones at any VAMC (he's a sweetheart!).  

This article was written by Brannan Vines, the proud wife of an OIF veteran and founder of  To contact Brannan, you can reach her by e-mail (brannan -at-
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