United Spinal Association proudly announces the launch of VetsFirst, a comprehensive, full-service veterans advocacy program. United Spinal has a long history of assisting veterans, both with and without disabilities, in securing their civil rights, government benefits, and health care. Founded more than 60 years ago by a group of World War II veterans who had sustained spinal cord injuries on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific, United Spinal Association has been continuously fighting for the rights of veterans and their families at the federal, state and local levels.
“The VetsFirst program is the embodiment of United Spinal Association’s dedication to ensuring that all veterans—past, present, and future—receive the care and attention that they deserve and that they are physically, emotionally, and economically restored to the greatest extent possible for injuries suffered during their military service,” said United Spinal Association’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Paul J. Tobin.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has authorized United Spinal to serve as a national veterans service organization. Through its VetsFirst program, United Spinal Association provides direct representation of individual veteran benefit claimants through a national network of VA-accredited veterans service officers; legal representation in appeals of denied VA claims, legislative advocacy before Congress and state legislatures; and represents veterans’ interests as a group before executive agencies and the courts.
“We want the country to know that just because United Spinal Association has expanded its mission to advocate for all persons who suffer from a spinal cord injury or other disorder, we remain steadfastly focused on serving veterans and their families,” Tobin stated. “VetsFirst is designed to serve as a model for the next generation of veterans service organizations. Building on traditional roles, we are constantly seeking new ways to serve veterans.”
Veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are facing complex conditions such as traumatic brain injury, poly-traumatic injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These conditions affect every aspect of their lives—health, employment, finances, and family and social relationships. VetsFirst’s full-service approach to caring for veterans focuses on all of these concerns. “Our services start with the transition from active-duty service member to veteran, but healing and securing benefits are only the beginning of the story. Veterans service organizations must also assist veterans, their families and survivors in returning to as normal a life as possible once the veteran comes home,” Tobin said.
As we honor those veterans who have given their lives for our country this Memorial Day, VetsFirst pledges to continue to serve their brave successors. For more information, please visit the VetsFirst section of United Spinal Association’s website, www.unitedspinal.org.