Burnet County Vet Ride keeps rolling during pandemic

Burnet County Vet Ride

The Burnet County Vet Ride program is still taking veterans and their spouses to appointments or on errands. The volunteer drivers clean the vehicles between each use and wear face masks during trips. Call 830-613-9982 to schedule a ride or for more information. Courtesy photo

Burnet County Vet Ride saw a drop in service requests with the arrival of COVID-19 and the Veterans Administration transitioning to telehealth appointments, but calls for rides are beginning to pick up.

“We were always going,” said Sophie McCoy of Burnet County Vet Ride. “Even with the VA using telehealth, we still have veterans who had to get lab work done or they had appointments with private clinics. We just want the veterans and their spouses to know we’re here for them.”

Lori Greco, a U.S. Army veteran and Vet Ride driver, pointed out that each of the seven vans are given a thorough cleaning between rides.

“We have sanitizers in the vehicles, and (drivers) wear masks,” she said. “We’re here to drive them to appointments or the grocery store.”

Burnet County Vet Ride has provided thousands of rides at no cost to veterans, spouses, and widows or widowers of veterans over the 10 years it has been in existence. The door-to-door service transports those living in Burnet, Llano, and Lampasas counties to wherever they need to go, whether it’s a Highland Lakes clinic or an appointment in Waco, Austin, or San Antonio.

“There are some veterans who can drive to a local appointment but don’t feel comfortable driving in Austin traffic,” McCoy said, “or they don’t have a car or their car’s not working. That’s where we can help.”

Three of Burnet County Vet Ride’s seven vans are wheelchair-accessible.

The program is funded by the Texas Veterans Commission and donations. Donations and volunteer drivers are always needed.

“It’s really an honor to give these veterans or their spouses a ride,” Greco said.

Like Greco, McCoy sees Vet Ride as great way to serve veterans and their spouses.

“We’ve been doing this for ten years, and I think it’s such a great way to help the veterans,” she added. “We are still on the road for the veterans and their spouses. We want them to know that.”

Call 830-613-9982 to schedule a ride or for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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