Veteran Assistance Program
Each year, Post 46 provides emergency assistance for homeless veterans, providing temporary housing and food while working with local organizations to place veterans in more suitable long-term facilities.
American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA)
Since its establishment in 1925, The American Legion TFA program has awarded cash grants to minor children of current active duty or American Legion members. These grants help families of qualifying veterans in need meet the cost of shelter, food, utilities and health expenses, thereby keeping the child or children in a more stable environment.
Veteran Stand Downs
A Veteran Stand Down provides a wide range of support services and information, at one location, for Veterans and their families. These events are vital to educating our county’s veterans on the benefits they may rate and the services available to them. Several service providers in and around Carteret County set up information tables and speak to visiting Veterans and their family members. Emergency supplies are on hand for homeless (or near homeless) veterans and referrals can be made for services not available the day of the event.
Distressed Veteran Fund
Post 46 maintains a fund to assist local veterans and their families in need for:
- Short stays in local motels while trying to find suitable temporary housing
- Thanksgiving and Christmas meals
- CCATS tickets to assist veterans with necessary transportation
- Vehicle repairs
Post 46 works directly with the Carteret County Veterans Services Office to ensure eligible Veterans receive access to claims assistance and with NC Works to aid Veterans with finding employment.
Carteret County Volunteer Transportation Network (VTN)
Post 46 actively supports the VTN with volunteer drivers. This service provides free rides to veterans to the Durham VA Medical Center and to the Greenville VA Clinic.
NCWorks Career Center and the Carteret County Veterans Service Office
The NCWorks Career Center and the Carteret County Veterans Service Office provide services to Veterans and Eligible Spouses. Each agency can provide referrals for services; such as housing, medical, and employment.
Who Should Care for our Disabled Veterans
Have you ever used any educational benefits through the VA? Do you use the VA Clinic or the VA hospital for health care? Do you receive VA Compensation or Pension Benefits? If you are a surviving spouse of a qualifying veteran do you receive VA Dependent Indemnity Compensation? If you are the dependent of a qualifying veteran do you receive educational benefits?
If you have ever used any VA assistance, have you ever wondered where those benefits originated? Do you know who is out there still fighting to ensure veterans have access to health care and educational benefits? Who lobbies Congress for funding for VA Benefits?
At the earliest beginning of a community taking responsibility for disabled soldiers are the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony. The Pilgrims passed a law which stated that disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony. (1)
The Continental Congress of 1776 encouraged enlistments during the Revolutionary War by providing pensions for soldiers who were disabled. Direct medical and hospital care given to veterans in the early days of the Republic was provided by the individual States and communities. In 1811, the first domiciliary and medical facility for veterans was authorized by the Federal Government. In the 19th century, the Nation's veterans assistance program was expanded to include benefits and pensions not only for veterans, but also their widows and dependents.
After the Civil War, many State veterans homes were established. Since domiciliary care was available at all State veterans homes, incidental medical and hospital treatment was provided for all injuries and diseases, whether or not of service origin. Indigent
and disabled veterans of the Civil War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, and Mexican Border period as well as discharged regular members of the Armed Forces were cared for at these homes.
Congress established a new system of veterans benefits when the United States entered World War I in 1917. Included were programs for disability compensation, insurance for service persons and veterans, and vocational rehabilitation for the disabled. By the 1920s, the various benefits were administered by three different Federal agencies: the Veterans Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions of the Interior Department, and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.
Volunteer Transportation Network
Changes in the level of funding for the Beneficiary Travel program led the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to accept alternative options for transportation of eligible veterans seeking VA services. VTN was established to provide needed transportation for veterans seeking services from a VA facility and/or authorized facility. VTN guidelines permit volunteer participation in providing transportation to veterans using a volunteer’s privately-owned conveyance or a government-owned vehicle, including donated vehicles, county vehicles, DAV Department (State) or Chapter (local) vehicles, public transportation and contracted transportation.
The VTN is the only way many veterans are able to get to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities for needed treatment. They’re men and women who answered our country’s call in times of war. Many lost limbs, sight, hearing, or good health. And many live a great distance from a VA hospital.
With fixed incomes, the cost of transportation to a VA hospital is just too high. They’re left with two choices. They could go without the treatment they need or skimp on food or other necessitates to pay for transportation.
Veterans disabled in our nation’s service should never face such dire option. So VTN volunteers respond, driving vets to and from VA hospitals and clinics. Other grateful Americans are helping too.
The network is administered by DAV Hospital Service Coordinators (HSCs) at the VA’s 172 medical centers.
Across the nation, more than 196 HSCs operate more than 180 active programs at VA hospitals and outpatient clinics. These HSCs have recruited a corps of nearly 5,000 volunteer drivers whom they coordinate to provide transportation for veterans needing this service.
All VTN drivers are volunteers and do not receive payment for the services they provide.
About the Carteret County VTN Program:
Our local VTN program operates two vans (on a rotating schedule) that depart from the Carteret County Veteran’s Services Office to transport eligible veterans to either the Durham VA Medical Center or the Greenville VA Clinic for scheduled medical appointments. These vans have been donated by Veteran service organizations and others in the area thru a program sponsored by Ford and the Disabled American Veterans. The vans are driven by volunteers who generously give their time in service to our Veterans.
Current Service Area:
- Durham VA Medical Center
- Greenville VA Clinic
VTN Van Riders
For information or to reserve a seat on van which departs from the Carteret County Veteran’s Services Office and provides transportation to the Durham VA Medical Center please contact the VTN coordinator at the Carteret County Veteran’s Services Office at 252-728-8440, or stop by the office locate at 3710-B John Platt Dr., Morehead City, NC.
Eligibility to use the VTN:
The Patient (veteran) must;
- Have a scheduled medical appointment between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. at the Durham VA Medical Center or the Greenville VA Clinic.
- Able to board and exit the van unassisted.
- Reserve a seat by calling the VTN Coordinator at 252-728-8440, and have your name added to the trip ticket. Calling when you know you need a ride is important. These schedules are made up several days in advance. There are days that the vans are full so the earlier you call the easier it is to get a seat on the van or to change your appointment to another day if necessary.
A patient whose name is not on the trip ticket will only be allowed to get on the van if:
- The patient has a VA appointment letter showing an appointment for that day, and
- A seat is available.
- Vans operate various days of the week from the Carteret County Veteran’s Services Office located at 3710-B John Platt Dr. Morehead City, NC.
- Patients being discharged may ride the van only if space is available. The patient must be ready when the van is ready to depart. A patient with an AMA (Against Medical Advice) or irregular discharge will not be transported.
- Patients must be at the pickup point 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
- The van will not make a trip if road conditions do not allow for safe travel in the opinion of the driver or when the public schools are closed in the van’s service area.
- The van is not equipped nor are the drivers trained or qualified to handle medical emergencies.
- Passengers not adhering to the regulations listed in this flyer will not be transported and may be asked to leave the van.
- Thank the volunteer who generously gives of his/her time to provide transportation for our Veterans to and from the Medical Center for their scheduled medical appointments.
- We can always use qualified drivers – Would you like to become a member of the Carteret County VTN team? Help to ensure veterans are able to get to and from their medical appointments. Our men and women veterans flew over Germany during WWII, patrolled the mountains in Korea, fought in the jungles of Vietnam, and are now serving in the desert of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan and many other places worldwide in time of war and peace.
- By Volunteering one day a week, one day every two weeks, or even one day a month driving a VTN Van in your local area, you would help us to ensure our Veterans have access to excellent medical care and services offered at the Durham VA Medical Center or the Greenville VA Clinic.
- Become a VTN volunteer driver by contacting the VTN Coordinator at 252-728-8440.
- To be a Volunteer Driver you must have a valid NC Driver’s License.
- *Volunteer drivers must first pass a medical screening by a qualified VA Doctor at the Greenville VA Clinic. The screening includes:
- Eye Exam (eye chart)
- Blood Pressure check
- Answer medical screening questions.
- *Volunteers will be fingerprinted for a federal background check.
- *Once all qualifications are met, the volunteer driver will receive VA-issued ID and be presented with a certificate of recognition by the Carteret County Veterans Council.
*These services are provided at no cost to the volunteer.
Volunteer Transportation Network (VTN)
Rules and Regulations
The following rules and regulations have been established by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) National Headquarters – not by the Volunteer Driver.
- The Transportation Network is NOT a substitute for ambulance service. Drivers are NOT PERMITTED to transport emergent patients. The normal operation of the Transportation Network is Monday – Friday for patients with scheduled appointments between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 11: a.m. Transportation of veterans for unscheduled appointments may be made only with prior approval of the Hospital Service Coordinator (HSC) assigned to the medical facility where treatment is sought.
- The VTN driver will only transport a veteran at the veteran’s request. If the veteran does not want to go or refuses to go, the driver will not assist the family regardless of the veteran’s condition. This also applies to incompetent veterans. The driver can only transport veterans who can freely enter the vehicle.
- To assist in scheduling and to allow volunteer drivers to prepare their personal schedule, veterans must provide as much prior notice to the HSC of future scheduled appointments requiring VTN support. A minimum of at least two business days prior to scheduled appointment is required. Request for transportation with less notice may be refused.
- The VTN driver is not to lift or attend medically to any patient.
- One individual other than the veteran will be permitted to ride in the approved VTN vehicle ONLY under the following conditions:
a. The veteran’s physician has approved the spouse or family member a “Permission to Travel” slip stating the veteran requires assistance.
b. A caregiver who is authorized by the VA to provide the veteran with “Aid and Attendance”.
c. Where the patient requires assistance and the VA has classified the patient as “housebound”.
- The VTN driver is only permitted to stop the vehicle for rest stops and/or emergencies and to pickup and discharge passengers. Passengers will not request the driver to make side trips to take care of their personal business.
- Passengers are not permitted to smoke, chew tobacco, drink alcohol, use foul language or bring weapons, drugs or any illegal substance onto the vehicle. Extreme emphasis is placed on this rule when a patient requiring oxygen is being transported.
- The VTN driver will not provide transportation to any passenger who is intoxicated, abusive or poses a threat to the driver or other passengers in the vehicle.
- All passengers will wear seat belts at all times. Any passenger refusing to buckle-up will be denied transportation. If veteran’s medical condition prevents the use of a seat belt, the veteran must have a physician’s note stating so BEFORE transportation is provided.
- Passengers will not engage in any activity that will distract the driver’s attention.
- It is the responsibility of the veteran or his/her family to notify the driver of any medical condition, which may require special needs (such as bladder control or car sickness) during transportation to ensure the cleanliness of the vehicle and to prevent the spread of disease.
- Patients must be dressed and ready to leave for the hospital at the specified time. The driver cannot wait for patients. The veteran or his/her family must contact the HSC or designee as soon as possible regarding cancellation or change.
- Patients being discharged or granted passes may be transported by VTN only during the vehicle’s trip back to its home city and only on a space available basis. The patient must be ready to leave when the vehicle departs the medical center.
- Because of limited space and the possibility of more than one passenger, luggage will be held to the absolute minimum. The driver has the right to refuse excess luggage. All articles transported must be held in the passenger’s lap, placed under the seat or properly stored in the luggage compartment.
- The driver may refuse to transport any passenger who he/she feels is too ill to ride in the vehicle. The driver may request a written statement from the VA physician stating that it’s permissible for the veteran to travel.
- Patients utilizing the VTN are NOT eligible to receive reimbursement for travel expenses from the VA (M-1, Part 1, Chapter 25, July 8, 1991). VTN drivers CANNOT charge for transportation services as they are considered employees without compensation (WOC).