VA Medical Center needs volunteer drivers

Posted at 5:53 PM, Dec 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-05 18:53:08-05

Melroy Lewis visits the VA Medical Center twice a month.

"Oh, well I'm a diabetic,” said Lewis.  

He said if it was not for the Disabled American Veterans Transportation Network, it would be difficult for him to get to his appointments.

"I wouldn't be as comfortable driving here you know under certain medical conditions,” said Lewis.  

Lewis said that is why he is thankful for volunteer drivers like John Hagan, who also happens to be a veteran. 

"To and from, we just we leave at 7:30 in the morning. When everybody's done with their appointments we head back,” said Hagan. 

"Many veterans don't have transportation. They don't have their own private vehicle, and they may not have family that's available or able to bring them to their medical appointments,” said Voluntary Service Specialist Bridgett Holmes.

Every day Monday through Friday volunteer drivers like Hagan pick patients up from clinics around the Central Texas area, and they bring them to the VA medical center in Temple. 

"We have locations all the way down south to Bryan-College Station, Austin and Cedar Park and then Brownwood, Palestine and La Grange," said Holmes.

Representatives from the VA said they are in desperate need of more drivers. 

"We are constantly recruiting new volunteer drivers for our DAV Transportation Network. Currently, we really need some help with our Killeen route,” said Holmes.

Lewis said he appreciates those who take time out of their days to help those in need.

"And I thank God that we can get to these appointments. Somebody has the initiative to brings us without pay and do things for the veterans. I think that's outstanding," said Lewis.

"If we all help, it’ll all go better," said Hagan.

VA representatives said volunteers must meet qualifications for drivers, such as a valid driver’s license, proof of current insurance, a safe driving record and a background check. Applicants must also pass a physical examination.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer driver in Killeen, contact the voluntary service office in Temple at 254-743-0515 or 254-743-0740.

Copyright 2018 KXXV. All rights reserved.