Another Reason the Montana VA is Kicking Volunteers to the Curb
They have one driver...and he's 90 years old. Here's a crazy update to a story we first told you about last week where the VA is kicking volunteer veteran drivers to the curb over a vaccine mandate.
After we shared the news on the radio from veterans in Sanders County, Montana, I heard from another veteran in Polson. He told us how they only had one driver to take Mission Valley residents to their VA hospital appointments in Missoula and Helena- and he is 90 years old.
Larry Ashcraft told me that several men stepped up to volunteer and help out, but once the VA forced a COVID vaccine on drivers- those efforts ground to a halt.
Nonetheless, Ashcraft, a veteran himself, says he was already vaccinated, so he tried to move forward with the process of volunteering. He started the process last October and is STILL waiting to be approved to be a volunteer driver for the VA. After getting response from contacts at the VA, Ashcraft says he finally heard back from someone two weeks ago.
Ashcraft: They called me about two weeks ago, and said that I needed to take a hearing test, and maybe being at Polson the closest place I could take the hearing test was in Billings, Montana.
They wanted him to drive the 828 miles to Billings from Polson roundtrip for a simple hearing test. Eventually they called him back to see if he could do the hearing test in Missoula. He says he still doesn't have a confirmed appointment for a hearing test, and will also still need a physical.
Isn't this crazy? Not only is the VA kicking volunteer drivers to the curb over the absurd vaccine mandate, even if someone got the vaccine it takes a mound of bureaucracy just to hit the road. Even for somebody who got the vaccine, he's having to go through a whole bunch of bureaucratic BS just to simply be a volunteer.
Here's the full audio of our chat with Larry Ashcraft on Wednesday's "Montana Talks with Aaron Flint:"
LOOK: What 25 Historic Battlefields Look Like Today