To the Editor:

My name is Jimmy Richmond, and I am a Vietnam veteran from Jonesboro, and I am writing you to tell you that the Marion VA hospital is at it again.

My brother, who is also a veteran, was denied transportation to and from his doctor's appointments by the VA in Marion. He has been riding with a company called “Assisted Transportation” in Marion for over five years, and they are a Godsend for us. They’re always friendly and helpful and the VA has been using them for seven years, but now, the VA is telling disabled veterans that we have to get our own ride or ride with the VA volunteer vans, and those volunteer guys aren't as reliable as Assisted and will not be as courteous as Assisted. They told me they are trying to cut out Assisted.

With the volunteer vans, we end up having to wait, sometimes for hours, until the volunteers or the VA vans become available, but with Assisted, we never have to wait more than a half hour. When I'm sick, and when my brother (who has emphysema) is sick and can barely walk, we don't want to ride in uncomfortable vans or have to wait for hours to get home.

We need to demand that the VA provides us with the transportation that we deserve, and tell the VA to use Assisted Transportation in Marion for us Veterans. We shouldn't have to beg to get a ride to and from our appointments.

Jimmy Richmond

Jonesboro

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