HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Gov. Robert Bentley announced the Alabama Executive Veterans Network, also known as "AlaVetNet," Tuesday. It's a new online tool to help Alabama veterans and their families locate the services they need.
Paulette Risher is the program director for "Still Serving Veterans." She said AlaVetNet will provide a much needed resource for veterans in the area.
"Huntsville is one of the three or four pockets of real veterans populations for the state, and we have a very large population we serve," she said.
Risher said that among all the states, Alabama has some of the strongest veterans services available, including federal services, state services, and non-profits that want to serve veterans and their families. But despite all of that, people don't know how to utilize them.
"The problem is nobody knows where they are. And so, if I'm a family member and I have somebody that's a veteran that's suffering, or homeless, or needs legal assistance, they don't know where to go," said Risher.
Risher said there's a disconnect between veterans and the services available to them. She hopes AlaVetNet serves as a venue to help people bridge that gap.
"And this website will help identify resources that are beyond what people will just know, and from a trusted source," she said.
Risher added that the website will be especially helpful to veterans living in rural areas. 80 percent of Alabamians served in the military and 40 percent of veterans come from rural areas, and those are the most under served populations. The new AlaVetNet will hopefully allow veterans a faster and more user friendly way to access the services available to them.