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Free Rides for Vets Living in Highly Rural Areas

Volunteers help a veteran into a VA van

VA’s Highly Rural Transportation Grants program provides money for free rides for Vets living in highly rural areas.

By Hans Petersen, VA Staff Writer
Monday, October 20, 2014

Thousands of Veterans who live in highly rural and remote areas will now have free transportation to their VA medical appointments to receive the health care they need and have earned through service to our country.

The free transportation is made possible through VA’s Highly Rural Transportation Grants program.

The program enables State Veterans Service Agencies and Veteran Service Organizations to use innovative approaches to provide transportation services that help to expand access to VA health care for Veterans.

In August, VA awarded six grants and in September awarded another five grants to organizations that will receive up to $50,000 per highly-rural area to help operate or contract for free transportation services for Veterans to-and-from VA medical facilities and when authorized to non-VA facilities.

For example, the grants will assist 2,000 Veterans in Texas by providing $931,006 to fund transportation services.

Twenty-Five States have Highly Rural Counties

The grants went to organizations ranging from American Legion Post 12 in Boise County, Idaho, to the Nevada Department of Veterans Services for Humboldt and Pershing counties in Nevada.

A highly rural area is a county or counties with a population of less than seven persons per square mile. Twenty-five states have counties that are highly rural. Those states are found in the northern, western and southwestern parts of the United States.

VA is committed to ensuring enrolled Veterans have access to quality health care.

The following organizations will receive grant funds:

  • Alaska: Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs — Southwest Fairbanks, Matanuska-Susitna, Kodiak Island, Kenai Peninsula, Prince of Wales-Hyder counties
  • Idaho: American Legion Post 12 — Boise County
  • Montana: American Legion Rocky Boy Post 67 — Hill County
  • Texas: American Legion Post 142 — Baylor, Cottle, Foard and Hardeman Counties
  • Maine: Maine Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. — Piscataquis County
  • Oregon: Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs — Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Morrow, Sherman and Wheeler counties
  • Oregon: Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs — Malheur and Wallowa counties
  • Nevada: Nevada Department of Veterans Services — Humboldt and Pershing counties
  • North Dakota: Robert Tovsrud VFW Post 757 — Benson County
  • Texas: Texas Veterans Commission — Fisher, Kent and Presidio counties
  • Texas: Texas Veterans Commission — Briscoe, Cochran, Coke, Collingsworth, Crockett, Dallum, Dickens, Hansford, Hartley, Jim Hogg, Knox, Lipscomb, McMullen, Motley, Oldham, Roberts, Shackelford, Sutton and Wheeler counties.

Click for Veterans Transportation Service and other transportation options