Volunteers Needed To Transport Veterans

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POCONO PINES, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Rudy De’Jesus served in the Army from 1967-1970. He was stationed in Germany.

He explains, “we had automic missiles. We counted them down and we were ready in case we needed to fire them.”

Today, Rudy lives in Cresco. He had a stroke in 2012 and now walks with a cane. He adds, “my left side is paralyzed.”

Rudy receives treatment and support at the VA Clinic in Wilkes-Barre. He can’t drive, so he relies on volunteer drivers like Kathy Averill.

“I’m really dedicated to helping especially the veterans out. You know, these men and women really served us so selflessly and I really feel I need to give back,” says Kathy Averill, Pocono Lions Club.

Kathy is part of an organization called The Pocono Lions Club. Members volunteer to drive veterans to the VA, but there’s a shortage of drivers this time of year.

“Because we use a lot of retired people, and a lot of retired people in this area seem to go to Florida all winter,” Averill says.

To become a volunteer driver, you’ll need to have a valid driver’s license and feel comfortable driving a large van. “It’s pretty easy to do,” Averill adds.

Rudy says he gets lonely, so he looks forward to these rides. He hopes you consider volunteering. He adds, “we also get to socialize for awhile. Most of us are all locked up in the house 24 hours a day.”

One group hoping to set the wheels in motion.

From Stroudsburg through Williamsport, VA vans are stationed across the region. If you’d like to drive one, contact the VA’s Volunteer Coordinator in Wilkes Barre.

https://www.wilkes-barre.va.gov/features/Veterans_Transportation_Network.asp

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