Flathead community helps out local veterans


KALISPELL, Mont. - Many Flathead veterans are missing their scheduled doctor appointments due to lack of volunteer drivers.

The Flathead Disabled American Veterans Group knows it is a crucial matter. The group needs all the help it can get.

"We often don't have enough vehicles to transport the veterans that we need and of course, when we have the vehicles, we never have enough drivers," said Don Clark.

Clark is a member of the Flathead Valley Disabled American Veterans. He needs the community's help.

He knows that it's essential for the DAV to have reliable vehicles because they make trips to Libby, Eureka, Helena and Missoula.

"Right now, Libby and Eureka are our next target areas because we have no vehicles in those areas," said Clark.

People just recently realized how much help the DAV needs.

"There are a lot of veterans out there that need help in one way or another. Financially or wounded during a war, or whatever, they need help and I figured I could do that," said Gary Wilson.

And 21 other people have decided to sign up to be volunteer drivers in one day. The DAV volunteer coordinators say they only expect a few things from the drivers.

"We expect good drivers, because they're hauling our veterans, and many of our veterans are 60, 70, 80 years old, and we need to have good vehicles and good drivers," said Clark.

Right now the DAV has four vehicles that drive Flathead and Mission Valley veterans.

Two were purchased last year and one car was just ordered, but they are waiting to raise the money for it. Two of the vehicles have over 200,000 miles on them and don't go out of Kalispell, but people we met are determined to help where they can.

"The reason I do it is to help people. To help the veterans, to help make it available for them," said Clark.

The DAV transports over 1,000 veterans in the Flathead and Mission Valley areas to make sure they are able to make their doctor appointments. Without the volunteers this opportunity for veterans wouldn't be around.

If you want to volunteer to be a driver or donate money to help the DAV pay for their new car you can call 406-212-9162.