Operation Veterans Van
On August 8th, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) 11-passenger, volunteer driven, Ford van that transports patients from the Veterans Affairs clinic in Hyannis to the VA hospital in Providence, Monday through Thursday, broke down on the return trip.
The immediate problem was fixed and the van was back in service the next day, but it has other major mechanical deficiencies and is no longer reliable for long trips. So, it has been replaced with a 6-passenger van provided by the Rhode Island Department of the DAV. That cuts by 20 per week the number of seats available to Cape Cod veterans, many of whom no longer can drive that distance and depend on this service. Thus, a new larger van needs to be acquired.
Cape & Islands Chapter 1, Korean War Veterans Association, which currently provides most of the drivers, is heading a fund drive to raise money to purchase a brand new, 2010 12-passenger van which retails for about $24,500, but will be sold by Ford Motor Co. to the DAV for $14,100 "while supplies last". A checking account has been opened at Rockland Trust in the name of "Operation Veterans Van" to receive donations.
The KWVA, and Hyannis Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2578, as well as Hyannis American Legion Post 206, which by itself donated funds to purchase the old van, have pledged significant sums toward the purchase of the new van, but additional donations from other organizations, veterans or otherwise, and individuals, in any amount, are needed soon to take advantage of the offer from Ford and to restore service to the pre-existing level.
The van serves veterans from all over Cape Cod and the Islands, not just the mid-Cape area, and is a vital link in the VA health care system, which registers, insures, and pays for the operation of the vans. The names of substantial donor organizations or persons will be lettered on the new vehicle.
Donations may be made at any branch of Rockland Trust.
Lawrence Cole, Harwich
East Bridgewater, MA 02333
Lew Corcoran, ASP®, IAHSP, IAHSP-CB