Friday marked 26 years of the Veterans Express Bus transporting area veterans to Tallahassee, Fla., and Lake City, Fla., for medical appointments.
As part of the celebration, Veterans Booster founder Marshall Berman presented Republican Senate candidate David Perdue with the Veteran Booster of the Year Award.
Berman said, “Out of all the candidates I’ve talked to, Perdue is the only one to take an interest in Veteran affairs.”
The plaque contains the following inscription: “In recognition of outstanding contributions, dedication and tireless efforts on behalf of veterans.”
Berman commented on how Perdue has impacted the lives of Veteran through his continued efforts.
He said, “Perdue has helped put veterans to work and expand business.”
The veterans bus was started by a group led by Berman that was determined to make it happen. In 1988, it began trekking to Veteran Administration hospitals in Lake City and Gainesville, Fla.
Veteran Boosters operates the bus as a non-profit organization. It receives funding from various promotions and donations.
In 1991, the bus had transported 11,000 veterans, saving them an estimated $500,000. According to Berman, the bus has transported more than 100,000 veterans, using only a dozen staff members — including a driver, secretary, treasurer and president.
The bus makes its rounds by beginning in Moultrie and then traveling to Quitman, Boston, Valdosta and other surrounding towns.
Berman takes pride in the fact that the bus has not missed a day since its inception.
“I’m thankful that it has come to pass and it is continuing to happen,” he said.
The Veterans Express Bus travels to Tallahassee on Wednesdays and to Lake City on Thursdays.
Reporter Susanne Reynolds can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1826.