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Helping Veterans In Rural Regions

Especially in areas such as West Virginia, it can be difficult for military veterans to find transportation to veterans’ centers and Department of Veterans Affairs health care facilities. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and five other senators want to make it easier for them.

A bill introduced by the senators would improve access to transportation services such as those operated by the Disabled American Veterans and other organizations. VA health care facilities would be able to continue hiring drivers and purchasing vehicles to transport veterans. And a program that reimburses veterans for travel costs they incur would be expanded.

Veterans who live in rural areas such as West Virginia and East Ohio sometimes can find local organizations, even friends and neighbors, to transport them to health care facilities. But those options are not always available — and urgent health care needs must be addressed quickly.

The bill should be enacted. We think most Americans agree with Manchin that aiding veterans in rural areas “is just common sense.”

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