MN Veterans 4 Veterans Trust Fund ( V4V ) presented a $25,000.00 grant to assist Minnesota Veterans from rural Northwestern Minnesota Counties in receiving medical care.
The check from the V4V Trust fund was presented on March 14, 2013 at the NW Minnesota County Veterans Service Officer’s meeting in Detroit Lakes. In addition, it was announced at the meeting that the Disabled American Veterans is donating an additional $25,000.00 in support of this new Veterans transportation program for NW Minnesota.
This grant was approved in collaboration with the MN Disabled American Foundation, the National DAV / VA Transportation Program and local businesses and Veterans organizations to assist in purchasing three vans to transport Veterans in the 15 counties in Northwest MN to the VA Medical Centers in Fargo North Dakota and the St. Cloud VA Medical Center. The total amount in grants to get the program off and running is $105,000.00. Paula Conrad, the Veterans Service Center Manager at the Fargo VA Regional Office stated “There is a great need for services, particularly transportation, in rural communities such as most of Northwestern Minnesota where public transportation is scarce or non-existent.”
Laurie Brooke, the Becker County Veterans Service Officer stated “By virtue of geography and economy, Northwest Minnesota has been lacking in transportation resources.” Ms. Brooke went on to say “Access to basic medical care due to lack of transportation is a common complaint in rural Minnesota. Using current statistics from CVSO’s, over 3,000 Veterans have been identified as needing transportation in the year 2012.” The transportation program will be run by the County Veterans Service Officers of the counties participating in this program.
Commissioner Larry Shellito of the MN Dept. of Veterans Affairs recently stated "I commend the County Veterans Service Officers for their efforts and teamwork in addressing the transportation needs of the Northwest Minnesota Veterans community. Clearly, this effort will bring a better quality of life to the Veterans served by this program."