CONYERS — Beginning in March 2020, any veteran who lives in Rockdale County and does not have adequate transportation to medical appointments at the Atlanta VA Medical Hospital in Decatur will be provided a ride to and from their appointment by the Rockdale County Veterans Transportation Program (VetTP).

Rockdale County Commission Chair Oz Nesbitt Sr. made the announcement about the new service and unveiled the handicapped accessible van during the Veterans Day program Monday at the Walk of Heroes Veterans War Memorial at Black Shoals Park.

Nesbitt said he and the rest of the Board of Commissioners made it their personal mission to provide the needed transportation for low income veterans residing in Rockdale County.

“There are over 6,500 veterans in Rockdale County who do not have transportation or adequate transportation to get to their doctors appointments,” he said. “From Conyers to the VA Hospital in Decatur is a good hump for a lot of folks, particularly if you do not have transportation.

“We’re going to take care of the veterans in Rockdale County,” Nesbitt continued. “This vehicle will pick them up in front of their door, in their driveway, Monday through Friday, starting in March 2020. They will make sure they get to their appointments on time and make sure they get back to Rockdale County. The two drivers for this vehicle will be veterans.

“This vehicle is state-of-the-art. It has the capacity to hold two wheelchair-bound veterans and nine other passengers. All they’ll have to do is simply call and register their appointment Monday through Friday.”

His announcement received a standing ovation from the crowd of veterans and their families attending the Veterans Day program.

Nesbitt thanked county staff for their efforts and gave particular thanks to U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, and State Rep. Vernon Jones for their support on national and state levels in securing the van.

VetTP is a partnership between the Rockdale County Senior Services and the Georgia Department of Veterans Services. Veterans must qualify for the VetTP through the Georgia Department of Veterans Services and must meet the following criteria:

♦ Be a veteran of the U.S. Military with an honorable discharge

♦ Receive referral from the Rockdale office of Georgia Department of Veteran Services

♦ Reside in Rockdale County

♦ Have a Georgia drivers license or state ID (photo ID)

♦ Have a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care enrollment card (photo ID)

♦ Complete VetTP assessment (enrollment) with Rockdale County Senior Services

Driver positions exclusively for VetTP will be posted on the Rockdale County website in the near future. The county is looking for veterans to serve as the drivers and who can assist the veterans on and off the van. Additional training will be provided for the drivers.

Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.