February 7, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
On Thursday Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Peerless Chapter 10 of Portsmouth donated at 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan to Scioto County Veterans Service Office to replace an older van.
“In 2012 we received money that Erma Allard willed to our DAV Peerless Chapter 10 here in Portsmouth. With that money we set up the Disabled American Veterans Erma Allard Fund,” said Ray Mitchell, Commander of DAV Peerless Chapter 10 of Portsmouth.
Mitchell said John Locher is the Adjutant and Treasurer of the local DAV and is also a commissioner at the Scioto County Veterans Service Office.
“At one of our meetings John explained to us the poor condition of the van they had at the Veterans Service Office. This is a van used to transport veterans back and forth to area V.A. (Veterans Administration) Hospitals. It had broke down a few times and had over 200,000 miles on it,” Mitchell said. “After hearing the condition of the van, we took a floor vote and voted to purchase a van for the Scioto County Veterans Service Office out of the Erma Allard Fund.”
He said the van purchased was a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan.
Mitchell said there were many altercations made to the van.
“They take a standard van or mini-van and lower the body, to make is accessible to transport wheelchairs, they reinforce the frame to make it stronger, put in a new fuel tank, new exhaust system and a wheelchair ramp,” Mitchel said. “They also put in rubber floor that has fasteners to stabilize wheelchairs for transport. This van can transport two wheelchairs at a time and we had a GPS installed as well as a back-up camera.”
Kim Dennewitz, Office Manager for the Scioto County Veterans Commission said the van will be put to good use.
“This donation means we will be able to transport veterans to the five VA medical centers that we travel to. We are getting more and more veterans in wheelchairs. We had an old wheelchair van that has over 200,000 miles on it. The van was not safe and we have not been able to transport wheelchair bound veterans for at least three months.”
She said once the van is ready it will mean a lot to a lot of people.
She said once county tags are put on the van it will be available for use.
For more information about the Scioto County Veterans Commission visit, www.sciotoveteranscommission.com or call 740-353-1477.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org