Eau Claire County (WQOW) - There's a lack of volunteer drivers to take veterans from Eau Claire to the Minneapolis VA.
"The VA system is a hour and a half away," said Adam Kohls, the Eau Claire County assistant director of veteran services, "So there's none locally here except in Chippewa, which is a clinic, so they can only do clinic type work but when you're looking into the major things like the procedures the surgeries, the specialties, that's in the Minneapolis VA and traditionally the veterans taking this van are the ones that can't drive or navigate the VA and don't have transportation, so without it they wouldn't be able to get to their appointments."
Last February, News 18 reported on the Disabled American Veterans van. It was purchased to give veterans free rides to the Minneapolis VA. Kohls said they took 300 to 400 veterans last year. The DAV van leaves every odd day of the week and it can take eight passengers per trip. But there are currently only seven active volunteer drivers.
"And we go every other day, so at this pace, we're going to burn out volunteers," Kohls said, "So we're looking for more volunteers so they're not going as much, so that they can last longer."
The van leaves the Eau Claire County Courthouse at 7 a.m. and leaves Minneapolis around 3 p.m. Those who would like to volunteer can call 715-839-4744 or email the Eau Claire County veteran services office at firstname.lastname@example.org.