Ft Campbell is home to the largest military installation in the United States. The Montgomery Veteran Population is the fourth largest in the state of Tennessee. The Montgomery Veterans Coalition aims to help the Veteran Population, which accounts for roughly 24% of the community. According to the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) there are 47,819 veterans in the state of Tennessee. Out of those, 37.5% are Vietnam veterans, 18.2% are Gulf War, 12.8% are Iraq/Afghanistan and 24.9 are between conflicts. Of those total Veterans, 8.2% live in poverty and 18.5% have a service connected disability rating.
Clearly the need for support organizations in the Clarksville area is great. Just two years ago the local VA clinic found themselves at capacity. Due to the proximity to Fort Campbell and the growing Veteran population, the clinic was over -crowded, with prospective patients waiting months for an appointment. As a result, the clinic stopped taking new cases. Thankfully the community welcomed a new Clarksville Community Based Outpatient Clinic this year which is part of the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System.
Other organizations have also been born out of the acute need for additional support options for Veterans. One such group is the Montgomery County Veterans Coalition (MCVC). A non-profit organization, the MCVC was established with a vision to create a community united in the care of Veterans and their families. The MCVC now includes any organization in the country that works with Veterans. Current members and member organizations include SAFE (Soldiers and Families Embraced), the Department of Labor, the entire state house delegation of the county, the Clarksville Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. MCVC is an organization that Chief Knows Ft Campbell Homes actively supports as well.
For many years local Veterans looking for help were often overwhelmed by the large number of options that were available. Often lacking focus, the abundance of services led to difficulties for Veterans who were trying to determine where to turn for support. Due to that dilemma the MCVC emerged with the initial intention of bringing together Veterans organizations to utilize their resources more effectively. By creating a seamless information flow, Veterans can now be directed to targeted resources for support. MCVC aids with every aspect of veteran care including mental health, transportation, housing, education and financial need.
The Veterans Coalition continues to work toward the betterment of the Clarksville Veteran community. Most recently MCVC hosted an informational session to introduce the county to the new Military Family Clinic at Centerstone. The clinic opened its doors to Veterans and their families on April 26th and is now offering behavioral health services. While the Cohen Clinic makes it a priority to service post 9-11 Veterans, the clinic will assess all Veterans based on specific need. The average wait time for an appointment is expected to be one week. For those in crisis, the clinic will schedule same day appointments.
MVCV is committed to bringing the community together to serve those who served the community. If you are interested in donating or volunteering contact Sherry Pickering, Executive Director (931-801-0700 or firstname.lastname@example.org).