HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) - With the help of donations, the Hastings Disabled American Veterans club has purchased its own van for transporting veterans who have trouble getting to the VA hospital in Grand Island.
Hastings volunteers for years would drive to Grand Island to pick up another van to take veterans to see a doctor, but that’s now changed since the southern Nebraska group has bought its own Ford Flex van, the Hastings Tribune reported.
The Hastings DAV chapter raised about one-third, or $14,300, of the van’s cost. It was able to buy the vehicle with donations from Ford Motor Co. and a private donor.
The gray van, with lime green and white labels noting that it’s a DAV vehicle, will also serve veterans in Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties. There is no charge for people who use the service, and the message is clear along the side of the vehicle: “Fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served.”
Rick Ingram, Hastings DAV commander, said he started volunteering as a van driver two years ago after learning about the program in Omaha. He had been taking his brother to the Omaha VA hospital and saw the work other veterans were doing as volunteers there.
At first, Ingram wanted to push wheelchairs around the hospital, but a volunteer coordinator asked if he would drive a transportation van, as there was a need for volunteers there.
He said he enjoys helping out his fellow veterans and that it’s been rewarding to volunteer.
Information from: Hastings Tribune, https://www.hastingstribune.com
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