Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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DAV and community rallying to form veteran transportation service in Lewis County

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: DAV and community rallying to form veteran transportation service in Lewis County
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Disabled American Veterans operates over 30 vans across New York State which help transport those who've served to area hospitals and clinics. But no transportation service exists in Lewis County, which is why YNN's Elizabeth Jeneault says the DAV and community is rallying to form one.

LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. -- The DAV's transportation service helps out thousands of veterans across the state each year.

One of those veterans is Ray Moser, who lives in Lewis County, but has been picked up by Watertown's DAV transport outfit over the past several years.

"If it wasn't for the DAV and Fran and the van, the DAV part itself, there's no way I could get to my appointments. Because I don't drive. I don't have my license, I don't drive," said Moser.

There's been an increase in the number of Veterans like Ray seeking that service in Lewis County. Which is why the DAV met with locals in Lowville Sunday to discuss setting up a service there. Ray will be the county's new coordinator.

"It's getting to the point where we need our own van to take pressure off of Fran and to be our own DAV outfit," said Moser.

The Watertown coordinator says he's thrilled the service is finally being set up in Lewis County. That's because he and his volunteers have had to tack on several extra hours to their day in order to drive all the way out to Lewis County.

They said this new service will hopefully alleviate stress on drivers as well as patients.

"Just to have the drivers spend less time in the vans, veterans less time in the vans and just to give them a better service, the whole situation, make it a lot better for everybody," said Fran Murray, the Watertown coordinator.

At Sunday's meeting, the DAV's North Country recruiter urged locals to seek out volunteer drivers. That's because if they have at least fifteen by Spring, a van will be donated to the county, allowing the service to begin. But it seems they are already off to a good start.

"It was a good work day because six people off to my left are signing up to drive for this van and we also have the coordinator so that's a biggie for us," said Bill Gleason, a recruiter for the DAV transport service.

The drivers say volunteering for the service is incredibly rewarding because they get to hear veteran's stories and make new friends.

Want to volunteer?

The DAV invites anyone interested in volunteering to call their recruiter, Bill Gleason, at 315-425-4343.


The DAV invites anyone interested in volunteering to call their recruiter, Bill Gleason, at 315-425-4343.

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