Man makes big donation to help replace vandalized veterans transport van

Man makes big donation to help replace vandalized veterans transport van
The van was vandalized and destroyed in early May, a Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital spokesperson said. (Source: Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry man made a five-digit donation to help a group replace a vandalized van used to transport veterans for medical treatment.

Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center spokesperson Erin Curran said the man donated $10,000 toward replacing the van. The donor said he was giving the money in honor of his uncle, a World War II veteran.

The van, which was operated by the Disabled American Veterans Transportation Network, provided a ride to veterans who were unable to drive and could not otherwise get a ride to access health care.

On May 13, Summerville Police responded to the 400 block of Old Trolley Road where the vehicle, a Ford E-350 passenger van, had been reported stolen, an incident report states.

A representative with the Department of Veterans Affairs told police the vehicle had last been driven three days earlier then dropped off at the location. The van was believed stolen on May 11 because it was equipped with a GPS tracking device, and the report states the vehicle was located for several hours on that date at an address on Old Georgetown Road in Mount Pleasant. The vehicle’s last signal pinged at an address on State Highway 162 in Hollywood at approximately 5:45 a.m. on May 12, the report states.

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office later recovered the vehicle, but DAV said the van had been totaled by vandals.

The vehicle was able to transport 12 passengers and will cost more than $36,000 to replace, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center spokesperson Tonya Lobbestael said.

Disabled American Veterans is conducting an online fundraiser for the van as well.

Curran said the donation will go a long way to helping replace the vehicle.

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