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USU GETS GRANT TO HELP VIETNAM VETS, FAMILIES

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Utah State University has been awarded a $142,000 grant to identify and serve Vietnam veterans and their families living in remote or rural areas who have a child with a birth defect or other developmental disability.

The grant, awarded to USU's Developmental Center for Handicapped Persons from the Agent Orange Class Assistance Program, is the first project in Utah to be funded by the program and among the first grants awarded out of a $240 million legal settlement.The goal of the program, according to project director Vonda Lauritzen, is to help such families benefit from greater access to and use of the same quality of social, medical and rehabilitative services that are available to families in urban areas.

The USU program targets veterans in rural areas of Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada and the Navajo reservation.

The services include assistance in mainstreaming children into local programs and helping veterans and their families become knowledgeable about their child's condition so that they can be successful advocates for the child.

Veterans who have children with birth defects or disabilities are asked to call the DCHP collect at 801-750-3684. They can also write Lauritzen at the DCHP, USU, Logan, UT 84322-6800.