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We Are Not Affiliated With the
Veterans Administration
We Are Vets Helping Vets

Mission

The mission of the the Vet Center G.I. Java is to provide facilities for veterans’ support groups to meet and  address post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicide, alcohol abuse, war trauma and other issues pertinent to veterans’ well-being.  Veterans in crisis will be counseled and referred to appropriate medical, mental health, food and shelter resources in the community. Veterans may also be provided food and toiletries directly by the Vet Center.  Many veterans, especially those with PTSD, have trouble with socialization and the Vet Center G. I. Java facilities give them a safe and welcoming environment to meet and socialize with other veterans. Coffee is part of our mission. Coffee is universally recognized as a tool for socialization and is provided as convenience for those attending the center.  Coffee is also used to draw in the community and educate them on the plight and the needs of our veterans. The Vet Center also provides warming services and food during cold weather.  Lastly we educate veterans on filing of claims via books we offer.

Support Groups Forming Now!

Sign-Up at the 
Vet Center
1203 N.4th St.
Coeur d'Alene, ID

Vet Center

We operate a Vet Center in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The facility is a welcoming place for vets, particularly those who have trouble socializing due to PTSD and other war-related issues.  The Vet Center has a meeting room that will be used for PTSD, suicide prevention, and alcohol and drug support groups geared towards veterans.
  
The primary purpose of the Vet Center is to provide meeting space, assistance, and socialization opportunities for veterans.  In this regard, drip coffee is available free to all veterans, and veterans will be able to purchase lattes and other beverages.  This allows veterans to attend meetings, and socialize without having to seek beverages elsewhere.

The Vet Center and G.I. Java is staffed completely with volunteers. No one gets paid.  If you are interested in volunteering please let us know.

The Vet Center opens at 6.a.m. and will closes at 6 p.m., unless group meetings are going on later in the conference room.  In that case, the Vet Center closes when the meeting is over.

There is an ongoing need to support the Vet Center with grants and donations.  Additionally, to help fund the Vet Center, the public is welcome to purchase coffees and lattes at a very reasonable price. By allowing the public to utilize the coffee shop, the community is made aware of the plight and needs of our veterans and the community can be informed of upcoming fundraising events and donate.  Additionally, the Vet Center Meeting Room is available to other veterans groups for use, free of charge, as the schedule allows.

The goal of the Vet Center is to provide that neutral space, where peer support groups can help veterans in the North Idaho area come to terms with their PTSD. 

Not All Wounds Are Visible

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious problem that many veterans have but it is t readily recognized, and often does not appear for years after the trauma has occurred.  While we don’t see outward physical scars, PTSD can be identified by a person’s withdrawal from others, including close family members, anger, anxiety, and an inability to function well at work and/or in group situations.  PTSD can severely impact a veteran’s life, destroying relationships and families, and preventing the vet’s ability to work in many cases.  Some veterans eventually end up homeless, and sadly, some take their own lives.

Treatment of PTSD is evolving, and there is more than one avenue of treatment. Effective treatment may combine a variety of methods, such as drug therapy, counseling, and meditation, to name a few.  It is our belief that one effective means of combating PTSD is for veterans to come together and help themselves through group problem solving.  These people, who have physically and mentally isolated themselves from others, need a neutral outlet where they can feel safe, wanted, and where they can interface with others who face the same problems

 understand you are not fighting
this war Alone.

The Endless War - PTSD

The Mayo Clinic has identified 14 common symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that can result in significant problems with social or work situations, and in relationships.  The symptoms are:

Intrusive memories/flashbacks
Isolation/avoidance of people
Nightmares
Poor sleep
Anger/irritability
Overactive startle reflex
Negative feelings about self and others
Emotional numbness/cut off from feelings
Difficulty maintaining relationships
Hopelessness
Lack of interest in enjoyable activities
Memory problems/lack of concentration
Guilt/shame
Self-destructive behavior

These symptoms might not become wholly apparent for years.  Individuals may exhibit a few symptoms for some time, but eventually PTSD paralyzes the individual, destroying their ability to maintain relationships, and sometimes results in self-destructive behavior (illicit drug use, alcoholism, highly dangerous activities, and suicide).

There is no complete answer to PTSD.  Learning how to cope with it, however, can mean the difference between life and death. If you see yourself or a loved one in the above list, please seek help.

They fought for us – we won’t let them fight this war by themselves.

20 Vets Died Today From Suicide

The latest VA Suicide Data Report documents that 20 veterans commit suicide every day. 

​This number is probably low due to problems in the reporting system.

This means that each year over 7,000 men and women, who were once healthy, active Americans, suffered (very likely alone) to the extent that they felt their only relief was to end their lives.

This is not acceptable.

Very troubling in this report was that of the 20 deaths each day, only 6 had previous contact with the Veterans Administration.  This makes outreach centers like the Vet Center G.I. Java even more important.

Self-Medication Alcohol & Substance Abuse

Alcohol and substance abuse can be a symptom of a much larger problem for some veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Many veterans try to quell the mental pain they feel through the use of alcohol and illicit drugs.  Some end up destroying relationships, losing their jobs, and become homeless.       

The Vet Center extends the free use of our facility to groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and other such support groups that would specifically have veterans as its participants.

Recognizing the problem is the first step.  Having support along the way towards sobriety can be life changing for anyone with an addiction.  Providing an opportunity for veteran-exclusive support groups makes sense, as many vets suffering from PTSD tend to isolate themselves from others.  There is a traditional camaraderie and brotherhood among those who have served, and it is our feeling that support groups geared exclusively towards veterans would be most beneficial to those involved, as they understand the issues that brought their downfall.

Humanitarian Crisis

The need for veteran assistance is epidemic. Many veterans’ basic needs go unmet, especially for the disabled and the homeless.  Statistics show the enormous magnitude of this humanitarian crisis:

  • 3.4 million veterans are disabled.
  • 1.4 million veterans live in poverty.
  • Another 1.4 million veterans live on the edge of poverty.
  • Over 49,900 veterans are homeless on any given night.
  • 453,000 veterans were unemployed in 2016.
  • Veterans’ claims for assistance from the Veteran’s Administration (VA) are backlogged for years with over 500,000 claims pending.

We provide a place for homeless veterans to get warm during the bitter cold of winter and a place to cool off in the heat of summer.  We also provide food to those veterans that are hungry.  We serve as a clearinghouse for other services in the community, directing veterans where they can get housing, food, and medical services.

Coffee With a Cause!

Why Coffee?  

Coffee is part of our mission.  It is universally recognized as a tool for socialization.  Many of our war-traumatized vets isolate themselves and do not socialize.  We provide free coffee to draw them to the Vet Center and hope, over time, that they will feel comfortable enough to interact with other veterans and if needed, join a peer support group.

We also provide coffee to the public so that the community will come to the Vet Center and see the plight of many of our veterans, and donate to support our cause.  

Lastly, coffee is available as a convenience to those veterans attending the Vet Center and group meetings.



Copyright 2017.  Vet Center G.I. Java


Vet Center G.I. Java
1203 N. 4th Street
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814