Posted: Nov 1, 2012 6:14 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
Several local veterans rely on a free van service transportation for medical appointments.
Phillip Lyons was a submarine sailor in the Navy during World War II.
He returned for battle a second time in the Korean War.
He continues to give back to his country today by coordinating the Butte DAV van program.
Lyons drove the vans for over 10 years.
Now that he is well into his 80's, he relies on volunteer drivers to transport local veterans to their medical appointments.
The appointments can be anywhere from Anaconda to Fort Harrison to Billings.
Lyons says every free ride he's given to veterans is worth it.
"I think it's one of the greatest things that can help us Veterans, as I am one and it's one of the greatest feelings to be able to help the Veterans because there's some Veterans that have no way of getting over to Fort Harrison," he says.
Currently there are 5 volunteer drivers for the DAV, and they're hoping they can get at least 3 more.
The DAV Department Commander for Montana Mary Creech says, "We don't want to wear them out and so we rotate the volunteer drivers so they're not driving every day. We're trying to get enough volunteers so they drive once a week, maybe twice if they really need to."
"Well we have some Veterans that call and they want to know how much the charge is. We're gratefully being able to tell them that they'll be able to ride this van free of charge. A lot of them will say well the Government owes me that. Well it really isn't the Government. It's the DAV organization that has these vans for them. They have a privilege of being able to ride the DAV van," adds Lyons.
The DAV van service is free to all veterans and runs on donations.
For more information, to become a volunteer driver or make a donation call 406-447-7760.