Veteran transport resumes Monday

February 2, 2013 • Local News

After a hiatus, the transportation unit formerly of the S.E.N.M. Vietnam Veterans of America Transportation Network is back in business and ready to resume services Monday.

Now the SENM Veterans Transportation Network, the program began more than a decade ago and provides transportation for veterans of all wars to hospitals and clinics throughout the state, as well as west Texas, said president Magil Duran.

The organization has six vans available and served more than [auth] 1,180 veterans last year. In addition to veterans, he said approved caregivers are also allowed to travel along.

The vans go to Albuquerque on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and to Artesia, Monday through Friday. The vans also go as far as Texas cities such as Big Springs, Lubbock, Midland and El Paso.

In December, the program ceased service after the S.E.N.M. Vietnam Veterans of America Transportation Network, Chapter 968, removed itself from the transportation unit, Duran said.

The program was able to re-incorporate as its own entity under the umbrella of the American Legion Post No. 28’s 501(c)(19), he said.

He and Vice President Greg Neal said they were thankful to Commander Santiago Vasquez for his help, as well as that of lawyers Kevin Roe and Doug Jones Witt and Chaves County Manager Stan Riggs and Finance Director Joe Sedillo.

“We apologize to any inconvenience to our riders,” Neal said. “But we will be making phone calls to let them know we are back up and running again.”

The organization has a board of directors that includes Duran, Neal, Col. Ron McKay (RET), Gene Peterson and Jeanine Best. It is also looking for volunteer drivers and office staff. Duran said they do not have to be veterans.

To contact the SENM Veteran’s Transportation Network, call 622-0729.

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