FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Representatives from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3036 approached the Forrest County Board of Supervisors at its Monday meeting seeking sponsorship for a new VA transportation van.
Two local vets spoke before the board expressing the need for volunteer drivers and specifications for a new transportation bus to carry area vets to the VA Medical facility in Jackson at least twice per week.
The board voted to give the group $5,000 dollars to go toward the purchase of the new bus. The projected cost of the 14-passenger vehicle is $50,000. So far, the group raised $12,000 toward the purchase of the vehicle.
"It was an easy decision for the board," Forrest County Board of Supervisors President David Hogan said. "Our veterans have done so much for us and the Board of Supervisors couldn't be more grateful for them. There's an obvious need there. Their van is approximately 12 years old and they're having mechanical problems.
Their current bus is over 10 years old and has over 200,000 miles on it.
"They transported 1600 veterans over the last several years from the Pine Belt area up to the VA hospital in Jackson," Hogan said. "We were glad to make that contribution of $5,000 to help with that van replacement. We would encourage the community to support the VFW and what they do. They need volunteer drivers. We would ask the community if they could reach out and give them some help."
Any individual or organization wishing to donate can do so by contacting the VFW Post 3036 at 601-582-9314. Any donation over $1,000 will be noted as a sponsorship to the cause.
The Lamar County Board of Supervisors gave $1,500 for the cause, and VFW representatives also plan to approach the city for some funds.