Nov. 3, 2016

Nov. 3, 2016 Minutes
Submitted by Tommy Fulton, Contributing Editor
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Les Greer. Tommy Fulton gave the invocation, followed by Tommy Blandenship, who led us in song and the Pledge. Tom Martenstein introduced our guests along with visiting Rotarians.
Student Guest: Saty Putcha introduced Brian Wilson from Mattie T. Blount High School.
Announcements: There is a board meeting next week, November 10th. Past Presidents Advisory Council meeting is Tuesday, November 15th
Program: Peggy Buggs introduced our speaker, John Kilpatrick, Founder of Veteran’s Recovery Resources.
After seeing first-hand, the unmet need for help for our deployed veterans, Mr. Kilpatrick began searching for better solutions. The help was especially needed for those who had served in multiple deployments.
He stated that there were more than 22 million veterans in the United States. 1 in 4 of them have serious addiction and mental health issues. Also, our veterans are more than 3 times as likely to commit suicide as the general population. The Gulf Coast Region consists of more than 5 million veterans, which is the 2nd highest in the U. S.
The waiting period for veterans who need help is 5-6 months after they begin to seek help. This is the toughest time for them. Because of this, the Choice Act of 2014 was designed to allow veterans to get help outside of the VA. The new VA Hospital in Mobile won’t have in-patient service.
Mr. Kilpatrick mentioned that his group can be self-sufficient if they can collect at least 40% of the fees which will be due under existing laws.
He described his personal experiences with addiction and how much of a stigma it was to even admit that you had a problem. It was extremely difficult for him to find a group of peers, which is why he started a group at the Pentagon. There was a test program that helped self-reporters avoid the stigma which was so prevalent in the past.
His group, the Veteran’s Recovery Resources, will soon have its funding in place. Having been a Medical Surgical Officer for 18 years, Mr. Kilpatrick will use his years of connections to reach out to his constituents. Their services will also extend to the families of the veterans.
He wrapped up by answering questions from the audience.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 pm.