Sense of Community

March, June, September, December

From poverty concerns to major policy decisions, this series dives beyond the headlines to provide in-depth coverage of issues facing people and organizations in the Ozarks. KSMU's team of reporters combine for 10 stories each quarter, to air the final weeks of March, June, September and December.

Michele Skalicky

Work continues on an $8.6 million clinic for military veterans under construction on the south side of Springfield.  The 68,000 square foot Department of Veterans Affairs Gene Taylor Outpatient Clinic, near Kansas Expressway and Republic Rd., will replace the VA Clinic in Mt. Vernon once it’s up and running.  It’s expected to open in the fall.

(Photo: Randy Stewart)

As part of their mandate to provide programming that encourages family reading and literacy, since 2011 the non-profit Missouri Humanities Council has also provided opportunities for military veterans and their families in St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield to participate in creative writing workshops.

(Photo: Randy Stewart)

After returning home from active duty, many military veterans choose to attend college, whether it’s a community college, trade school, or a full-fledged university.  And there are people and programs ready to help them take that step. We’re exploring educational opportunities for veterans on this edition of “Sense of Community.”

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

The Missouri Career Center is located at 2900 East Sunshine Street in Springfield, and it's open 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday-Friday. Veterans can call ahead to make an appointment, or simply walk in.

As Air Force Col. Anthony Willis prepared to retire from the military, he felt reasonably confident there was one thing he wouldn’t have too much trouble with:  finding a job in the civilian world. 

He had been a security policeman for five years, he said.

"And then for 22 and a half years, I was an intelligence officer,” Willis said.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

Chip Miller is one of about a dozen military veterans arriving for a group therapy session at the Veterans Center on 3616 South Campbell Avenue in Springfield.

Miller, in his early 70s, is here for camaraderie and professional help in dealing with trauma he experienced as a younger man.

To kick off this week’s Sense of Community series on "Opportunities for Veterans" in our area, we’re looking at the mental health services available for veterans of the armed forces.