Cass County announces free rides for veterans, widows

Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2022

CASSOPOLIS — Two government agencies have teamed up to help veterans in need of transportation.

The Cass County Transportation Authority has partnered with Cass County Veteran Affairs to offer free transportation to veterans and widows of veterans in need of a ride to medical appointments at area VA medical facilities.

Cass County Transportation Authority Director Bob Durm, who took over the role in July 2021, said he was introduced to Veterans Affairs Service Officer Karee Krause shortly after taking the position, and the two began talking about what they could do for veterans.

“They had grant monies available, and we had transportation available in the buses,” Durm said. “So, we developed this partnership.”

Durm said he sees a need for the program in Cass County, but the program isn’t getting the usage they would like. As the program begins to grow, he said both the Cass County Transportation Authority and the Cass County Veteran Affairs department hope to expand it.

“A lot of these veterans have preferred doctors, had them for a long time, and it can be difficult for them to get transportation,” Durm said. “We have the resources to provide that transportation. It’s great that they can get free rides, and it’s great to be able to provide that for them. Anytime we can help veterans in need in the county, we want to help them. It’s a great way to serve the community.”

Through partnerships with surrounding counties, Durm said they are able to get veterans rides to the Battle Creek Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

“A lot of Cass County veterans travel out to Battle Creek to their VA clinic,” Durm said. “We have shared county agreements with all the counties around here, so we can get them all the way to Battle Creek just for the express purpose of taking veterans to the facilities there.”

According to Durm, Cass County Transportation Authority will provide pick-up and delivery of Cass County Veterans to and from:

  • St. Joseph County VA Clinic in Mishawaka
  • Benton Harbor VA Outpatient Clinic
  • Battle Creek VA Medical Center
  • VA Wyoming Health Care Center
  • Ann Arbor VA Medical Center

Service is available every Wednesday, and trip requests must be made before 3:00 pm on Tuesday.

Arrangements can be made by calling Cass County Transportation Authority at (269) 445-2455. Veterans must present a copy of their DD214 papers upon pick-up.