Berrien County board recognizes volunteer drivers

Published 3:43 pm Wednesday, December 22, 2021

BERRIEN COUNTY — At the Dec. 16 Berrien County Board of Commissioners meeting, the volunteer drivers for the VA Volunteer Transportation Network Program were honored by the board.

The commissioners showed their appreciation for the service of these men and women who transport veterans to their VA health appointments at the Battle Creek Medical Center and the Northern Indiana VA Health Center in Mishawaka. The drivers, many of whom have never served themselves, give their time to get those who served the country to their medical appointments on time.

This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, volunteers made 121 trips transporting 201 veterans to their appointments, significantly down from the pre-COVID 167 trips transporting 464 veterans.  Bob Smith and Ned Wollenslegle have been recognized by the VA for providing more than 500 hours of volunteer service.

“The spirit of giving runs deep with our volunteers, in addition to giving their time to the transportation program, many of them also volunteer for the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts, the senior centers and have gifted homeless Veterans with a night in a hotel or facilitated through their respective churches to adopt a veteran’s family for a Thanksgiving meal or holiday gifts,” county officials wrote in a press release.

Anyone interested in helping area veterans and would like more information, contact the Berrien County VA office at (269) 983-7111 ext. 8224.