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DAV taking services mobile
Chapter ads SUV, 'mobile office'
DAV van 2
The SUV is painted in patriotic symbols - photo by Photo by Denise Etheridge
The local Disabled American Veterans chapter is ready to take its services on the road and offer transportation to veterans who need rides to medical appointments.
The DAV Chapter 46 in Hinesville recently acquired a SUV and a 38-foot Gulfstream motor home. The SUV will be used to take disabled veterans to medical appointments in Savannah and Charleston, and the motor home will serve as a mobile office to reach vets in nearby rural communities.
“The mobile home has a 15-foot awning under which we can place chairs and a table,” Garlon Penland, commander of the chapter, said. “Vets can fill out their paperwork on the spot.”
The DAV’s mobile “office” will serve veterans in Brunswick, Kingsland, St. Marys and Waycross, Penland said.
“At a lot of these places vets can’t make it into the (Hinesville) office, so we will be bringing the office to them,” he said.
The DAV van will begin its free transportation service to the Savannah VA Community Based Outreach Clinic the first week in January. Disabled veterans who live in Hinesville, Ludowici, Glennville, Walthourville, Midway and Richmond Hill are eligible for the service.
Penland advises clients to call five working days ahead of their scheduled appointments to request a ride.
“We have two licensed drivers and the third driver will have his license this week,” he said. “We could use some more volunteer drivers.”
The commander said VA officials told him a lot of disabled veterans miss their appointments because they don’t have transportation. He thinks the economy has hit disabled veterans hard, worsening financial struggles many
faced before the recession.
“We’re getting a lot of calls from vets that are just stuck,” Penland said. “Some of them don’t have cars. Some don’t have money to pay their electric bills at home.”
Clients draw travel stipends to reach VA medical appointments, Penland said. The van service will use that money to pay for fuel.
Penland credits former DAV State Commander Greg Harris, DAV State Commander Freddie Swint and DAV Southeast District Commander Cort Nordeoff for their efforts in acquiring the vehicles.
To make a van appointment, disabled veterans can call 368-2546.
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