Did you ever think what true service is to disabled veterans? How about 287.6 trips around the earth? As ridiculous as it sounds, that figure is a reality in Massachusetts. Since the inception of the DAV Transportation Program in our Commonwealth in 1987, we have traveled 7,150,000 miles or 287.6 trips around the earth. These figures increase with the passing of each day. What is even more incredible, all these miles are driven by volunteer drivers who have accumulated 520,000 volunteer hours. They have driven close to 240,000 veterans from their homes to VA medical centers for appointments. In addition we have purchased 63 vans and donated them to the VA medical centers for a cost of $2,000,000 in conjunction with our organization’s Columbia Trust. The money raised for these vehicles is from the public and our own membership donations.
At each one of the five Massachusetts VA medical centers, we have a Hospital Service Coordinator (HSC) who schedules the veterans’ rides and also assigns the volunteer drivers for these trips. These services are provided free of charge.
For some disabled veterans, reliable transportation means the difference between regular preventative health care and only discovering a condition once it has become acute. With the returning veterans who suffer traumatic brain injuries and amputations, this transportation service provides an invaluable resource for their care and readjustment back into society.
As an organization that advocates for veterans, we are aware of the need to develop partnerships with corporations in the Commonwealth that share these goals and understand the sacrifice of the men and women who served in our military. Commitment to their needs is a testament to them that as a community we care, and our resolve is unwavering. We are always looking for volunteer drivers so we can serve even more deserving veterans.