Veterans offered free rides to Jackson VA

Published 7:24 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Veterans offered free rides to Jackson VA

NATCHEZ (AP) — Several veteran services offices are teaming up to offer free transportation to vets who need a ride to the G.V. Sonny Montgomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Jackson.

The Natchez-Adams County Veterans Services office announced it will partner with similar organizations in Lincoln and Franklin counties to provide the service.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

A van will run from Natchez to Jackson with stops in Meadville and Brookhaven.

Free transportation to the center is vital, Service Officer Erle Drane said.

“Within a 50-mile radius of Natchez, there are 15,000 veterans, not counting Louisiana,” Drane said. “Many of them cant afford to pay for a ride.”

Not all of the area veterans need the service, and Drane said he is trying to determine how many would.

“Our target group is in the thousands,” he said.

Drane said he has been working on the project since he started four years ago.

The counties pitched in money to buy the 12-passenger van, and additional funds were provided by Disabled American Veterans, a national organization.

Drane said he hopes to have the van by January.

A number of religious and civic organizations have stepped up and volunteered to provide drivers, Drane said.

“We have a long list of volunteers, but Ill never get enough,” he said.