NORRISTOWN, Pa. - A valuable transportation service for military veterans in Montgomery County is expanding.
The program shuttles veterans to health care facilities around the region, and starting Thursday even more eligible veterans will be to use the service free of charge.
Action News boarded one of the shuttles as veterans Christopher Whitman and Clarence Littlejohn did what they do several times a month: ride the Montgomery County Veterans Shuttle from Norristown to the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Coatesville, Chester County for their appointments.
It's a 45-minute trip.
"Right now I don't have a car, so it's paramount (for) me getting to my appointment," said Whitman, from North Wales.
"It's been an asset," said Littlejohn, from Norristown. "It's been very gracious. I don't have a vehicle. I use the transportation to get to my medical facility."
A brand new shuttle was put in service this year as a result of a generous donation from the Philmont Country Club.
Both shuttles transport a total of nearly 1,000 veterans to their medical appointments every year.
But that's only a fraction of the nearly 42,000 veterans currently living in Montgomery County.
"These benefits are available," Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh told Action News. "These are benefits that veterans have earned, but frequently are unaware that they're available to them."
For many, the shuttle service is a more affordable and convenient option. For Shawn Britt, it's that and so much more.
He lost his job last July after slowly losing his vision due to glaucoma. Stuck alone at home most of the week, he says the service provides him a much-needed connection to the outside world.
"Not only have I been able to maintain all of my medical treatment, but secondary for me is... good weeks I'm able to get out of the house, bad weeks it's almost like I'm trapped in my home," he said. "And the drivers are my only social contact throughout the week."
For more information on how you can take advantage of these services, contact Montgomery County Veterans Shuttle at 610-278-3285.
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