MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) As we celebrate our veterans Friday, we are highlighting a program in Martinsville that makes sure veterans get to their doctor's appointments.
As WDBJ7's Danielle Staub explains, Miles 4 Vets with the Southern Area Agency on Aging is growing and gaining support.
"At that time I was having a hard time trying to get back and forth to the VA in Salem," Martinsville Veteran Richard Price explained.
Richard Price served in the United States Army from 1978 until 1982.
Price says the Miles 4 Vets program brings hope.
"Once I get on the van, okay, I'm vibrant , kind of look forward to it," Price said.
Twice a week, the van travels to pick up around 80 veterans a year at their home in Martinsville, Henry and Franklin Counties
Leaders say soon they will grow to help over 200 get to booth the Salem VA and the Danville Community Based Outpatient Clinic.
"I have some veterans that have told me, if it wasn't for this service they don't know how much longer they would have lived because they could not get to their appointments," Miles 4 Vets creator and Mobility Manager Brooks Jones said.
On Wednesday, the program signed a contract with the Salem VA.
"And them helping fund our program, hopefully we will be able to start providing more days," Jones said.
Veterans say being on the bus can brighten their day, as they head up to the VA they create a community between everyone on the bus.
"From time to time you get on there and find a friend you hadn't seen in a long time and that may be the only time you see them," Price said.
"And then relieve a lot of pressure off of the families because you know they are taken care of, you know they are getting professional transportation to and from in a safe manner, " Owner of Charis Transportation and van driver Charles Whitfield said.
Whitfield loves the partnership between his business and the Miles 4 Vets. He drives the van when he can and loves listening to the military stories.
"It means the world to me to be able to see them enjoy it, get out and interact with each other," Whitfield said.
Leaders say it's about giving veterans a better quality of life.
For more information about how to get involved or if you know a veteran who could use this service, call 276-632-6442.