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Help veterans keep rolling as van drivers

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By The Staff

Veterans have stepped up to the plate for our freedom. Now they need us to step up for them. Drivers are needed to take veterans to appointments in Columbia and Rock Hill.Our veterans are in need of our help.The Lancaster County Veterans Affairs office is looking for van drivers to take veterans to their medical appointments. Stops include the Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia and the Rock Hill VA Clinic.The van transports veterans to appointments in Columbia Monday through Thursday. The van goes to Rock Hill on Friday.The work is done by volunteers, people helping veterans who have served their country over the years during conflict and in peace.The local VA office has six drivers, but needs at least 10.Some past drivers were lost because they no longer drive, or work and have various family commitments. Their time and service are appreciated.A pool of 10 drivers is desired so it will reduce the number of trips a driver has to make per month. The VA office has a goal of using a local driver no more than twice a month.Though there is no compensation, drivers get to choose the days they want to drive and they receive a meal ticket for breakfast and lunch. Then, there’s also the company and camaraderie of being among those unselfish people who served our nation.Drivers are also required to take a tuberculosis test and complete a health questionnaire.Veterans are encouraged to volunteer as drivers, but the position is also open to non-military personnel.We encourage area people to step up and help with this service.Veterans have stepped to the forefront through the years to ensure our freedom. Some of their illness or ailments could be related to their time in serving their country.They have unselfishly come to our aid, so it’s important that we assist them now.If you don’t want to drive a van, there’s another way to help.The Lancaster County Veterans Affairs office is also taking donations for hygiene items for veterans at the Dorn Hospital in Columbia.The items needed are disposable razors, combs, small-size deodorant, toothbrushes, sample sizes of toothpaste, shaving cream, shampoo, lotion and powder, knit caps, lap robes and playing cards. Female patients are in need of shower caps, nail clippers, emery boards, cosmetic bags and hairbrushes.Often, when we think of our veterans we remember them on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. Sadly, they sometimes fade from our memory afterward.We should remember them each day. One way is to participate in one of these notable causes.Take time to help a veteran. He’s given his time to help us in the past.