The Prowers County Veterans’ Administration office helps veterans get to their out-of-town medical appointments using four vans and volunteer drivers. Gary Harbert, the county’s Veteran’s Service Officer recently noted the need for some additional drivers.
“We transport veterans for their appointments to Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver, Monday through Friday,” he explained, adding that the trips are scheduled according to the appointments set up through the VA medical services. “Once we have a date, we make sure we have a driver ready to take a veteran to their appointment and stay with them through their meeting and return them to Prowers County,” he said.
A volunteer must be 21 years of age and have a valid driver’s license and it need not be a CDL class. “A candidate will be given a background check and a physical exam in Denver to make sure they’re healthy for the drives,” he said. While there is no salary, Harbert said there is a stipend for each trip which helps cover some of the daily expenses the driver encounters in his service. He explained there are no overnight trips even though a veteran may have to spend the night at one of the medical centers. “When that happens, the driver returns to Prowers County and a pick-up is scheduled for the next day. With more volunteers, we have more flexibility for our drivers so they have some time off as well.” Harbert said he’d like to have a couple more volunteer drivers on call and if anyone is interested in helping, they can contact him at his County Annex office at 719-336-2606.
By Russ Baldwin
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