Comments of Senator Baker Disabled American Veterans Transportation Network Ceremony

“I am pleased to join with my colleagues from the Senate – Senator Bob Robbins – and the House – Representative Melio and Representative Fairchild – as well as with my friends in Pennsylvania’s Veterans’ community and the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, to recognize this outstanding program for Pennsylvania’s veterans.”

“Thanks to the Disabled American Veterans’ Transportation Network, thousands of veterans across the Commonwealth receive the transportation services needed to access medical care across Pennsylvania.”

“The Network relies on nearly 300 volunteers to drive more 50,000 veterans to Veterans’ Affairs Medical Centers. Overall, the Disabled American Veterans’ Van program transports veterans more than 1.5 million miles annually.”

So what does the Commonwealth get in return for its appropriations of $350,000 to the Disabled American Veterans Van program? The Points of Light Foundation estimates that each volunteer hour donated is worth $18 per hour based on a private sector rate of reimbursement. The DAV line item of $350,000, therefore, enables the state to realize a return of investment of $1.8 million annually. And the value in terms of lives positively impacted is immeasurable.

Today we join with the PA Disabled American Veterans to dedicate 16 new vans into the DAV Transportation Network – vans that will ensure the continuation of this important outreach program for our veterans’ community.”

I am also here to announce my support for next year’s funding of $350,000 in the FY 2008/09 budget. I am eager to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to help retain the DAV transportation line item. Continued funding is critical to providing Pennsylvania’s veterans with the health care access that they so richly deserve.”

“Thank you again for the opportunity to share in today’s ceremony. And congratulations on the past, present, and future success of the DAV Transportation Network.”

Contact: Brian Grove
(570) 675-3931

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