Federal grant will provide veterans transportation
BY World's Editorials Writers
Monday, July 09, 2012
7/09/12 at 2:45 AM
Federal spending isn't a popular notion in places such as Oklahoma, but surely even most Oklahomans can agree that the half-million-dollar grant just awarded to the state for transporting veterans is a worthwhile objective.
The $510,896 grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation to the Indian Nations Council of Governments, the only agency in the state to receive such a grant, is the second phase of funding totaling more than $1 million.
The money will provide veterans with more access to transportation and also will help coordinate transportation options for vets. A one-call coordinating center will be set up at the Muskogee transportation service. Marketing and outreach also will be part of the effort. Five rural transit agencies and one urban agency will collaborate on the transportation initiative.
The Oklahoma program is one of 64 such efforts in 33 states, funded by a total of $30 million in grants.
The USDOT effort is an element of the department's Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative, which aims to help veterans and military personnel with such needs as transportation through the implementation of improved technology.
The funding is helping to provide shuttles to transport veterans to the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee, which provides medical care to more than 44,000 veterans in eastern Oklahoma. The new money will help broaden the transportation assistance to include rides to work and the grocery store, for example.
Those of us with two or three vehicles and the full use of our arms and legs don't see transportation as much of a challenge, but for many veterans, it is a problem. In fact, meeting many of their daily needs can be a challenge for some veterans. The least we can do for these Americans who risked everything to serve us is to give them a ride.
Original Print Headline: New rides