The Oneida County Veterans Service Office coordinates DAV van transportation from Rhinelander to the VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, Mich., Monday through Thursday. On Monday and Tuesday, the van runs the northern route via Lake Tomahawk, Woodruff, Arbor Vitae, St. Germain and Eagle River. On Wednesday and Thursday, the van runs the eastern route via Monico, Crandon, Laona, Cavour and Armstrong Creek. All routes originate in Rhinelander.
Anyone needing a ride on the van must reserve a seat by calling (715) 369-6227. This should be done as soon as a medical appointment is made but not later than two business days prior to a medical appointment. Seating is limited and seats will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The DAV van does not accommodate wheelchairs or oxygen tanks; however, the VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain has a Veterans Transportation System (VTS) which does. VTS currently has two 16-passenger mini buses, which are capable of transporting up to three wheelchairs at a time and are equipped with oxygen tank holders. They accept open call-ins for veterans traveling to their facility for scheduled appointments who live within a 50-mile radius of the facility. Exceptions to the 50-mile radius rule are made for veterans who are deemed to be in the greatest need of service. Additionally, VTS offers two set routes each week. The first route is conducted each Monday and services Florence, Crystal Falls, Iron River and Eagle River. The second route is conducted each Wednesday and services Norway, Hermansville, Powers, Bark River, Escanaba, Gladstone and Rapid River. Veterans requesting transportation can call the VTS Coordinator, Isaac Armstrong, at (800) 215-8262, ext. 33849, once they have a scheduled appointment to set up travel arrangements or to be referred to the most efficient means of travel from their location.
Certain veterans who travel to Iron Mountain on their own are eligible for travel pay. They are:
• Veterans rated 30 percent service disabled or more traveling for any condition;
• Veterans rated less than 30 percent service disabled traveling for a service-related condition;
• Veterans receiving VA pension benefits traveling for any condition;
• Veterans with annual income below the maximum applicable annual pension rate traveling for any condition;
• Veterans traveling in relation to a compensation and pension (C&P) examination.
Tammy Walters is available at (715) 369-6127, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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