Giving Back: Serving Others

Veterans’ Van Coordinator/Driver Ray Munoz of Centerville

Do you ever think about finding a way to spend time to help others who really need extra help? Meet Ray Munoz of Centerville. Ray is the Coordinator for the Veterans? Services Van, and he is also one of the drivers. More drivers are desperately needed to be able to continue this valuable service for our veterans.

To become a driver for the Veterans? Services, one only needs to be willing to give some hours each week to take veterans to their scheduled doctors appointments. All that is required is to complete a physical and have a current driver?s license. A commercial driver?s license is not needed.

Ray explains that the doctors? appointments are fairly well coordinated with doctors working with their patients to schedule times that fit in with other veterans in the area. The van drives veterans to doctor appointments in Waco, Palestine, Temple, and Bryan. A driver can expect to spend around six hours on a trip.

Most all of the veterans are able to meet the van at the Centerville Square. ?A few of them,? said Ray, who is a Viet Nam Vet, ?can?t make it to the square, so we go and pick them up. The van is not equipped to accommodate a wheelchair, but we always find a way to get the vet into the van and to his appointment. Some of our vets served in World War II.?

Driving the vets is strictly a volunteer position, but the rewards are great. One can tell the work is satisfying by listening to Ray and his concerns for these who have served our country and just need a little support now. ?These are veterans that don?t have folks who live close by who can help them. Most of them live alone,? said Ray, who has been driving the vets for three years. He took over as Coordinator after the original Coordinator for the van had to give up the position.

Having the van is an asset for the veterans of Leon County that not all counties have. Crockett nor Palestine has a veterans? van. In Centerville, most of the veterans who use the van are residents of Centerville, but some are from Buffalo and other communities, including a few from Crockett. And they are all people who appreciate the service and need the medical attention that we all, as a nation, know they deserve for serving this country.

If you or someone you know is interested in contributing a few hours each week to help someone who needs it, call Ray Munoz on his cell phone at 713.213.0202.