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Veterans clinic trips could use more drivers

Oct. 18, 2012 at 5:18 a.m.


Editor, the Advocate:

In response to the letter concerning transportation services for veterans, the Victoria Outpatient Clinic relies exclusively on volunteer drivers. These individuals must apply at the clinic and submit to a background check as well as defensive driving training and a basic physical. These volunteers do not receive any payment for a day that begins before the 7 a.m. departure and usually ends well after 5 p.m.

When I began driving in 2008, there were enough drivers to provide the service every Monday and Wednesday of each month. Many of the drivers were retired and, after several years of driving, do not feel adequate to perform the service, and others have quit for other reasons. For the last year, there have been only enough drivers to provide transportation three times a month. Recent events have reduced the number of drivers to ONE (myself), and I volunteer once a month, as I am self-employed.

I have spoken to several groups urging others to look into volunteering and am advised that some have checked into the opportunity, but at this date I'm the "Lone Ranger Driver."

If you want to get involved, please visit the clinic located at 1908 N. Laurent St., suite 150.

Gary McElhaney, Victoria

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