Sen. Proos urges veterans to take advantage of available services

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos is encouraging veterans in Southwest Michigan and across the state to use the services and benefits available to them.

“We can never fully thank our courageous veterans enough for putting their country before themselves so that America may remain the land of the free,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Understanding this debt to our veterans and their families for their enormous sacrifices, I am proud that we have made significant strides to show our deep appreciation in a meaningful way.

“Southwest Michigan is home to more than 57,000 veterans, and I encourage all our veterans to take advantage of the many benefits they have earned in service to the nation.”

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) provides valuable services — from job resources to medical benefits and transition assistance — to the state’s more than 660,000 military veterans, which is the 11th largest veteran population in the nation.

Proos encouraged all Michigan veterans to contact the agency at 1-800-MICH-VET or on their website at www.MichiganVeterans.com. By calling the toll-free number, veterans can use the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center, which provides veterans access to federal benefit programs, state services and local resources.

“Unfortunately, veterans often face real challenges transitioning into new careers when returning home, which is why I supported new laws to help them transfer their military skills and experience to the private sector and to pursuing a college degree,” Proos said. “Military experience and training are now accepted as part of the licensing requirements for several occupations, such as emergency medical technicians, firefighters and security guards.”

Public Act 44 of 2015 now allows veterans and military service members to apply their military experience and education toward college credit.

The MVAA’s Veteran-Friendly School program recognizes schools offering services, such as accelerated learning programs for military experience, active student veterans clubs and support staff. Visit www.MichiganVeterans.com/vetfriendlyschools for more information.

The MVAA also has the Certified Veteran-Friendly Employer program to connect veterans with employers that are committed to recruiting, training and retaining top veteran talent. For more information, visit www.MichiganVeterans.com/certifiedvetfriendlyemployers.

“The willingness of young people to serve is largely reflective of how we treat and appreciate those who already served,” Proos said. “With that in mind, saluting our veterans and honoring their service and sacrifice is also about ensuring that America always has men and women committed to her defense.”

Proos said that this office has available veterans benefits booklets that provide information about obtaining veterans benefits and services available through federal, state, and local agencies. The booklets can be ordered by contacting his office toll-free at 1-866-305-2121 or downloading them from the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/publications.

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.