PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Arizona Lottery is helping veterans who live in rural areas travel to important appointments into Phoenix with the help of a shuttle bus.
On Friday, the Arizona Lottery unveiled the re-purposed bus, which can seat 22 people.
It’ll be operated by the Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council, shuttling veterans from northern Arizona and Mojave County to the Phoenix VA Hospital.
"One of the biggest barriers to homeless veterans seeking and getting the resources they needed was transportation," said Arizona Department of Veterans' Services deputy director John Scott. "This van couldn't have come at a better time."
A spokesman for the Arizona Lottery says the bus will run daily, and will triple the number of veterans the Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council is able to transport.
“We are so excited and proud to assist our treasured veterans obtain the quality healthcare they have all earned in their service to our country,” Arizona Lottery executive director Gregg Edgar said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to give back to those who have sacrificed so much for us.”
And veterans who have experienced the challenges of transitioning back into civilian life say the shuttle will be a valuable tool.
"I'm moved," said Vietnam Veterans of America Arizona State Council president, Gene Crego, USMC Ret. "We try to get the message out to help our veterans, so they know there are a lot more benefits out there for them."