(BINGHAMTON, NY) – Broome County Executive Debbie Preston and US Army Veteran and Legislator David Jensen (R-Endicott) today announced the County has purchased a new van to transport veterans to medical appointments through the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Van Program. They were joined by Broome County Veterans Services Director Brian Vojtisek, US Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Coordinator Andrew Newcomb and DAV Chapter 60 volunteers and drivers.
Veterans who use this service are often too ill to drive themselves, do not have family members who can drive them, or lack other means of transportation.
“Broome County is home to over 15,000 veterans who honorably served our country; we are dedicated to serving their needs and ensuring transportation is not a barrier for veterans to receive the medical care they need and deserve,” said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. “Transportation and access to medical care for our veterans is a cause that our entire community should champion; it’s time that we fight for those who fought for our freedom.”
“I'm pleased to partner with County Executive Preston to unveil the new Disabled American Veterans program van," said Legislator Jensen. "Helping our local Veterans get to critical medical appointments is just one small, but very important, effort we can make to thank them for their service to our Country."
The Broome County Department of Veterans Services partners with the DAV Van Program to provide free transportation to veterans to out-patient medical appointments locally and in-patient medical appointments at the Syracuse VA Medical Center.
The new van, delivered in July, will be added to the current fleet of two vans, which both have accumulated over 100,000 miles in transporting veterans.
In 2012 the program provided transportation to over 300 local veterans, with 240 trips to Syracuse and 190 trips locally.
“There is a tremendous need for transportation options for our veterans,” said Veterans Services Director Brian Vojtisek. “With our current fleet of vehicles we often worried about our veterans making it safely to Syracuse and back; this new van is essential and we will put it to good use in the name of those who served our country.”
The van was purchased with $22,000 through the Veterans Real Estate Transfer Tax, and comes at no cost to Broome County property taxpayers.
The program is available to all veterans; not just the disabled.
DAV is a non-profit charity dedicated to building better lives for America’s disabled veterans and their families. The program is always in need of volunteers to drive veterans to and from appointments, for more information please call (607) 778-3037.