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Identifying the gaps in Greater Cincinnati veterans services

Greater Cincinnati community leaders are beginning to map veterans services for the region. The first of five so-called "convening" sessions is Tuesday.

Retired Col. David W. Sutherland, a former commander for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom knows what problems returning veterans face. He is one.

"Understand that war is vile. It is one of the most vile things most people can imagine."

Sutherland, now the director of the Center for Military and Veterans Community Services (Dixon Center),says the challenges are when soldiers come home, losing the bonds they had on the battlefield and looking for new buddies. Those need to come from communities. Such an effort is underway in Greater Cincinnati and Tuesday Sutherland and Easter Seals TriStatewill try to identify the gaps. Pam Green is president and CEO.

"A lot of the help already exists in our community. The problem is that veterans don't know how to access the help that's available and a lot of agencies don't have the resources to well publicize the support that they have available."

Military, education, healthcare and other leaders in the community will attend Tuesday's convening session at the Cincinnati Museum Center. It begins at 8:30am.

Easter Seals TriState is also offering help to other communities interested in this iniative.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.