South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

DAV provides vans to transport veterans for medical treatment


Area veterans need not worry about transportation to and from the Pittsburgh Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center for treatment.

The VA medical facility received three vans from the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a million-member-plus nonprofit organization.

The vans will be driven by a corps of local volunteers organized by the DAV and its auxiliary. Heading up the effort is August J. Heidkamp, hospital service coordinator at the medical center.

The donation was made possible through a cooperative effort of the DAV's national organization, the DAV Department of Pennsylvania and DAV Chapters 35 and 123. The van donation is part of the nationwide DAV Transportation Network.

DAV officials noted the free transportation services will be provided to veterans in the Pittsburgh, Greensburg and Cadiz, Ohio areas. They said plans are to expand the service as additional volunteer drivers are signed up.

“This program was established in 1987, when budget constraints forced the VA to eliminate travel benefits for nearly all veterans using VA medical facilities for treatment,” said Edward E. Hartman, DAV national director of voluntary services. These benefits were paid to veterans to help cover the costs of getting to and from the VA hospital or clinic for treatment.

“Among those affected by the benefit cut were many veterans seeking treatment at the VA for service-connected disabilities, as well as indigent veterans who have virtually no other source of health care,” Hartman said.

Area veterans needing transportation assistance and who live within the Pittsburgh, Greensburg and Cadiz, Ohio areas should contact August J. Heidkamp at 412-688-6328.


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