By JIM VINES
The VA began accepting applications this month for grants to help state veterans service agencies and veterans service organizations operate or contract for transportation services, to transport veterans to VA medical centers and other facilities that provide VA care for those living in highly rural areas.
This initiative for veterans that live in rural areas will provide the much needed transportation that these veterans desperately need, making health care facilities located in metropolitan areas more accessible.
State agencies and veterans service organizations may apply for grants up to $50,000 to fund transportation of veterans to and from VA medical centers and other facilities that provide VA health care. If specified in the application, the services may be provided under agreements with contractors, such as bus or van companies. This program provides transportation to veterans at no cost.
A highly rural area is defined as a county or counties with a population of fewer than seven persons per square mile. Many highly rural areas are found in the western and southwestern United States, but at least half of our states have at least one highly rural area. Contact your state agency or veterans service organization to find out if they are participating or have applied for assistance in this program.
Korean War anniversary
The Department of Defense’s 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Committee has organized a National Commemorative Ceremony with national leaders, veterans and their families on July 27 in Washington, D.C. That same day, there will also be hundreds of VFW posts “Pancakes for Patriots” viewing parties for those veterans and their families who can’t make it to Washington, D.C., but need to see and hear the event to be thanked and honored for their service.
A website is available at www.koreanwar60.com for viewing and also provides links to “share your story” that can be pasted and uploaded, and a link for requesting a DOD “Certificate of Appreciation” for a veteran or a family of a veteran.