Donations keep Westmoreland program aiding veterans rolling
A program that provides veterans with free rides to medical appointments will continue next year with no cutbacks.
Matt Zamosky, director of the Westmoreland County Veterans Affairs office, said a passenger van will be purchased with a private grant received this month.
“We've been helping more than 40 veterans a week, and that's a lot of veterans,” Zamosky said. “To do this at minimal cost is amazing.”
The county's 36,000 veterans are eligible for the Disabled American Veterans Department of Pennsylvania program, which provides transportation to medical appointments in Pittsburgh. The only requirement is that veterans be able to walk.
There are two 10-passenger vans that service the county, one based in the Greensburg area and a second that predominately operates in the New Kensington area.
Rides are available five days a week and are scheduled through the county veterans office. Volunteers drive the vans.
A year ago, the program was struggling for survival because of a shortage of drivers. Zamosky said five drivers are licensed for the program and four more are seeking approval from the Department of Veterans Affairs to become drivers.
“We're actually better off than we were,” Zamosky said.
Two new vans have helped the program to flourish.
Earlier this year, an Export couple, Bernard and Pat Forcier, donated a van for the program. The Forciers could not be reached for comment.
Last week, county commissioners accepted a $15,000 grant from the PNC Charitable Trust, money Zamosky said was donated by a Murrysville couple, to purchase a second van.
The new vans won't broaden the scope of the program at this time, Zamosky said. Rather, they are replacements for older vehicles that have become too old to use.
Once more drivers are approved for the program, it could be expanded, Zamosky said.
“There are a lot of older people who can't drive or don't feel comfortable driving in Pittsburgh, and that's where our vans go,” he said. “The need is there.”
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Bushy Run Battlefield upgrades to include trail, signs, landscaping
- Greensburg police captain to attend highly selective academy
- Historic Greensburg Art Center joins Cat’s Meow collection
- Families welcome new members on Adoption Day in Westmoreland County
- Police on hunt for suspects in unrelated Penn Township, Manor cases
- Jeannette man pleads guilty to attempting to entice child in Louisiana
- Food drive volunteer in Westmoreland County has purse stolen
- Builder finds calling as chaplain at Westmoreland jail
- Fall fly-by: Blue Angels stop in Unity to discuss 2015 show
- Neophyte Patrick Stefano ends 67-year drought for Republicans in 32nd District
- Walker: Applebees to help Jacobs Creek Area Faith in Action