Baker Commends Efforts of Volunteers At the Disabled American Veterans Transportation Network Van Dedication

HARRISBURG – The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) added 15 new vans to their statewide transportation network in order to support the transportation needs of approximately 50,000 sick and disabled veterans each year, according to State Senator Lisa Baker (R-20, Luzerne), Chairwoman of the State Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Baker joined state Representative Anthony Melio (D-141), Chairman, House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, and Minority Chairman, Representative Russell Fairchild (R-85), along with members of the veterans’ community, and officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Military at a celebration today in Soldiers’ Grove.

“Thanks to the Disabled American Veterans’ Transportation Network, thousands of veterans have access to the transportation services needed to access medical care across the Commonwealth,” Baker said. Nearly 300 volunteers travel over 1.5 million miles annually helping to transport veterans to veterans’ medical centers. In total, DAV volunteers donate more than 100,000 hours to the Transportation Network annually.

Baker recognized the importance of volunteers to the success of the program noting, “How does one put an economic value on the time that volunteers’ give? According to the Points of Light Foundation, each donated hour is worth $18 per hour based on a private sector rate of reimbursement. Therefore, we can deduce that for our state line item appropriation of $350,000, we are realizing a return of $1.8 million. And our investment is well worth the return in terms of a dollar for dollar exchange as well as a consideration of services rendered and the lives positively impacted.”

“The $350,000 line item appropriation from the FY 2006/07 budget enabled the Disabled American Veterans to purchase new vans that will keep the network operating for another year.” Baker said. “Additionally, I intend to work with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure that funding is retained in the Fiscal Year 2007/08 budget. Our veterans deserve the best health care and the means to access it. The DAV Transportation Network helps them to do just that.”

Contact: Brian Grove
bgrove@pasen.gov
(570) 675-3931