The Veterans Outreach Center provides all kinds of free services and support programs for veterans and their families. 

There are 40,000 veterans living in Monroe County alone. 

The VOC’s Morale Center added a new alternative therapy called reiki that’s designed to help with emotional and physical healing.

Laura Stradley is the Executive Director at the Veterans Outreach Center.

“About a year ago we surveyed our clients and asked what they are looking for that we can do to better their lives. We wanted to reach kind of that younger veteran demographic as well and so we created this Morale Center with massage therapy, chiropractic care and now reiki," said Stradley. "Reiki helps veterans who may be having a lot of stress. It can bring peace and relaxation into them. It impacts the body, mind and spirit. We are so fortunate that we have wonderful volunteers who come in and volunteer their time to do this. It has had a terrific impact on vets experiencing anxiety and PTSD, that kind of thing."

Illeinne Martin is a reiki master, teacher and practitioner from Ki Harmony & Wellness in Irondequoit. She is donating her time to the VOC for reiki therapy. Her husband is a veteran. 

“It is an honor to be able to do this to help out,” said Martin.

Jeff Szalkowki is an Army veteran who goes to VOC for various services. He recently discovered reiki. 

“This experience is just awesome. It is so relaxing. I went in with no expectations but came out with more than I thought I would get," Szalkowki said. "More relaxation and feeling better about what was going on in my life. I feel more comfortable dealing with them now.”

Reiki is free for veterans at the VOC. It’s available Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. by appointment. Just call the Veterans Outreach Center at (585) 546-1081.