DAV unit needs volunteer drivers

Posted at: 05/14/2013 6:54 PM
Updated at: 05/14/2013 6:59 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Imagine having a doctor’s appointment three hours away, that you might miss because you don't have a ride.

It could be the reality for several veterans in the Four Corners area if they don't find volunteer drivers.

Jean Dudgeon has been using the free van services provided by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) for 15 years. It's made his life, and several other veteran's lives more convenient. 

"For a while I had to drive back and forth on my own and then I to spend a night or two and come back just for an appointment,” he said. “Now I can go down and not have to get a dog sitter.”

Each week, the Farmington unit of the DAV takes veterans from the four corners area to and from Albuquerque for their medical appointments. Without this service, the veterans would have no way of getting there.

"Because of sight they can’t drive or because of physical conditions they can’t drive themselves down there 3 hours do their procedures and drive back," said Van Coordinator, Brenda Hunt.

But the DAV is in trouble. They don’t have enough drivers to meet the veteran’s needs. They've been asking for help from drivers in Colorado, but if they can't fill in, these veterans are left without a ride.

Volunteers don't get paid, but it can be a rewarding experience.

Doug Troxel has been driving for a year and a half and his favorite part is the camaraderie he get from the vets.

"It gets to be a long day sometimes when you get into conversation with those guys it shortens the trip a lot," said Troxel. 

Volunteers do get two free meal tickets for the hospital cafeteria.

The DAV is asking anyone who's interested to please call 505-793-1782. Drivers must provide proper identification and insurance.