Volunteers needed to drive veterans to VA Medical Center

If I can do this, you can also do this.  

What I would like to tell you about is being a volunteer driver for the Veteran’s Administration.  I am retired from the electrical trade.  I worked as an electrician for 36 years.  When I took my retirement some time ago, I became really bored.  I had no idea what I could do.  Then a friend of mine suggested that I drive veterans to the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Iowa City.  Well, having a poor back and hip I was concerned about doing any lifting of patients.  Also about the type of vehicle that is used.  

So, what I did was this.  I contacted the Junge Barber Shop in Camanche where the area organizer is.  I found out, that as a driver, I would not be allowed to lift patients.  That’s good!  

Also I found out that they do use up-to-date vans that are comfortable.  

I learned a lot in the first couple of weeks.  

Also, I found out that I can get a free breakfast at the VA hospital.  I love the food there, it is delicious.  The best part of doing this is the fact that I have met many of our heroes.  

And I do mean heroes.  

One man that I have driven to the VAMC is a 94-year-old WW II veteran.  

What a neat person and a very nice gentleman.  

I’ve also met veterans from recent wars.  I have so much fun chatting with the vets and other people at the VAMC.  I have found something to keep me busy one day a week.

Basically, all you need to do this is a valid driver’s license and the time to do it.  

You don’t even have to be a veteran.  I am not a veteran.  

I was an apprentice electrician during the Vietnam War, so I had a college deferment from the draft.  If I wanted to I could drive only once a month or twice a month, or whatever, but I prefer once each week.  I can do this.  It is really a great experience and like I said, if I can do this, you can also do this.

Believe me, it is a very worthwhile experience and the VA is in need of drivers at this time.

Ed Bursott, Clinton

Korean War veterans can participate in revisit program

Korean War veterans or family members of one who served in or around the Korean Theater between June 25, 1950, and Oct. 15, 1954, are eligible to participate in the Korea Revisit Program. A veteran is allowed to bring a family member or friend as a travel companion. All expenses in Korea (minus incidentals) are paid by the ROK government and 50 percent of the veteran’s airfare and 30 percent of the companion’s fare will be reimbursed upon completion of the tour. This includes both domestic and international airfare from your hometown to Seoul and return.

The dates for the Revisit Korea are May 19 to 25, June 22 to 28, Sept. 12 to 18 and Nov. 8 to 14. If you would like more information call 242-1151, 1-800-722-9501 or (703) 590-1295 or email jwiedhahn@miltours.com.

Ed Staszewski, Director, Clinton County Veterans Affairs

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