CADILLAC — For 10 years Brian Majszak has been working toward one mission and on Monday he could finally say he had accomplished it.
Majszak is an outpatient substance abuse counselor for Catholic Human Services and through a partnership with the Wexford County Veterans Services Office, he will also be working with area veterans who need assistance. While his title at Catholic Human Services entails substance abuse, Majszak said he will have a broader scope when he is helping veterans.
He is hoping that his service in the Army will help them open up. It is likely they will because like some of the men and women who will eventually come to see Majszak, he is working through his issues associated with his time in the military.
“I’m 30% service-connected disabled for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder based on my experience during operations overseas. I was in the Army, Apache Troop, 1st Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment,‘ he said. “We were over there from the tail end of the invasion (of Iraq) and also the first peacekeeping force there.‘
Majszak served overseas from March 2003-July 2004 after he enlisted in the Army in 2001. During his service, he said he was a unit supply specialist, which meant his job was to support the needs of his fellow soldiers. Although he wasn’t necessarily out looking for action while overseas, the regiment was a combat unit and sometimes the action found him, he said.
As the unit supply specialist, Majszak’s primary responsibility was supervising or performing tasks involving the general upkeep and maintenance of all Army supplies and equipment. He said after his service to his country was complete, he wanted to continue to provide that support to his fellow soldiers.
As a result, he went into the field of social work.
“I went into social work and therapy so I could get into counseling for veterans. This is a decade-long plan,‘ he said. “It is really coming to fruition. I’m pretty stoked about it.‘
Wexford County Director Of Veterans Services Kent Myers said the county received a $64,000 grant from the State of Michigan to help pay the cost associated with the counseling. He said a $50,000 base grant was given by the state while the remaining $14,000 was given based on per capita.
“We are really excited. This is one additional new piece for us to provide services to veterans in need,‘ Myers said.
Although the grant and the program are in place this year, Myers said there is no guarantee the county will get it next year. That said, his office will make sure the county does apply for it again. He also said if the grant is not received for 2021, there is still a chance the program could return if it is deemed important enough to keep.
“There is no certainty with the state grants and we can’t say for sure it will be here for sure next year,‘ he said. “However, the county could decide to keep it based on what happens with this first year.‘
To set up a time to talk with Majszak, veterans or their families can call the Wexford County Veterans Service Office at (231) 775-6654. Walk-ins are welcomed but calling and setting up an appointment will guarantee a time to meet.