HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Veterans Committee makes sure a van takes two trips to Jackson every week.
On Monday and Wednesday mornings, local veterans board the van at Lacy Kelly Post 3036 on Ronie Street in Hattiesburg for medical appointments at the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson.
"It is old, it is probably near 15-years-old, certainly over that age and it has a mass amount of miles on it," said Ted Tibbett, Chairman of the Hattiesburg Veterans Committee. "For reasons, there's been a number of mechanic problems with it. If it was your vehicle, you'd say it's time to get a new one."
As of Thursday, the van had 212,275 miles logged.
"A lot of times, varies from two to 14 passengers, varies on appointments," said Louis George, a veteran who drives the van around three times a month.
The committee has been accepting donations for the new van, which Tibbett expects to cost around $50,000. He said the Lamar County Board of Supervisors has also pitched in. With plans to buy the van next month, the VFW will have to front the costs necessary, which could mean a smaller van.
"The people that ride with us, if they had their own car, their own capabilities, they would get up their themselves," Tibbett said. "There's far more than the 16 or 18 a week that we serve that go to Jackson."
The van leaves around 7 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, stopping along the way in Collins or Magee if necessary. The van returns that afternoon, around 2:30 p.m.
If you would like more information, or to help with purchasing the new van, call the Lacy Kelly Post 3036 at (601) 582-9314 or stop by the location at 210 Ronie Street in Hattiesburg.