For many years, the Veterans Van Program has provided transportation for veterans in and around Winona County for their appointments to the VA medical facilities in Minneapolis, Minn., and Tomah, Wis. The VA also has Community Based Occupational Clinics (CBOCs) in Rochester, Minn., and La Crosse, Wis. A second van was added to expand transportation availability for veterans.
The Winona County vans were purchased with financial donations and contributions from the Winona County community. Service clubs and private donations this past year raised over $21,000 to go toward the van purchase. The remaining amount was accessed through grant dollars. Winona County provides the funding for fuel and insurance coverage for both vehicles.
The vans run on days a veteran(s) schedules a request for transportation. Minneapolis and Rochester transports occur on even days from Monday through Friday, and Tomah and La Crosse transports run on odd days from Monday through Friday. The vans do not run on holidays.
Veterans who wish to schedule a ride will need to call 507-457-6455 as soon as they are aware of an appointment. This will allow VSO staff the time needed to contact a volunteer driver. There is a fee for veterans who are receiving travel pay from the VA. Veterans not receiving travel pay are asked to provide an in-kind donation.