Veterans need help with bus stop to clinic - | WBTV Charlotte

Disabled veterans face tough walk from bus stop to clinic

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Thousands of eyes each day along Harris Boulevard gaze at the signs for Northeast Charlotte's VA clinic, but what they don't see is the hardship faced by those who fought in past American wars.

Frustration is often expressed by those on the Number 29 bus. Gerald Rice is a Vietnam Veteran who uses public transportation. "There's a lot guys that's got it worst than I do," he said.

Mustafa Ture is a Vietnam Veteran who agrees.
"I've got a bad disability," Ture said." I look alright, but my feet, knees and back are shot. So it kills me to walk there and come back."

Public transportation becomes a needed life line for survival. After getting off the bus, many vets face a hike of two tenths of a mile and that includes more than two dozen steep steps that routinely challenges those who are often disabled.

Getting service to the front door has turned into a personal crusade for Robert McLeod.
The Vietnam Veteran has enlisted the help of congressman Robert Pittenger who is now asking Charlotte Area Transit to see what can be done to bring veterans directly to the clinic.

"When the garbage truck and fire truck can get up the hill without any damage, what's wrong with a bus full load of disabled veterans, McLeod said.

Administrators with the VA told WBTV that it is a issue for the Charlotte Area Transit System, and a CATS spokesperson says they're looking into the matter.
However, those who once served our nation and need help feel they're caught in the middle of different kind of battle.

"On a icy day or a rainy day. It's rough. It's rough," Rice said.


Cats responded to Pittenger's letter, and said there are no plans to move the bus stop.

Correspondence from the city also suggested the disabled vets should call ahead and use the special transportation services, which can provide rides from door to door.

Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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