By Amanda Fry
John Maxson, a United States Veteran who lives in Wheatland, Wyo., recently needed medical treatment that could best be provided by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, several states away. Maxson was working with the Veterans Affairs Medical treatment center in an effort to arrange for treatment at the Mayo Clinic.
Maxson said that while getting the green light for treatment at the Mayo Clinic was one hurdle, transportation to Minnesota, as well as lodging during his stay, were two issues that he did not have to worry about – thanks to the help of two nonprofits that assist veterans.
The VA Center worked with Pilots for Christ International and the American Red Cross to help ease the burden of traveling to his treatment and providing a place to stay while he received treatment.
Pilots for Christ International assists with transportation needs. The Red Cross offers numerous services for veterans, including a Rooms for Troops program that provides hotel rooms for veterans across the country who are facing medical treatments away from home.
“The Red Cross will provide hotel accommodations for service members, veterans and their families receiving medical treatment at a medical facility and/or family members providing comfort and support to the patient,” explained Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Manager Barbara Shufelt, who helped arrange the lodging service for Maxson.
The Red Cross works with military partners to receive referrals of veterans who would benefit from the assistance, which is provided on a case-by-case basis.
Another Red Cross program that assists veterans in their recovery and rehabilitation is the regional Material Assistance program. Through this program, the Red Cross provides veterans with electronics, clothing, and other items that veterans may need on the road to recovery.
Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces encompass a wide variety of assistance and program, from providing winter clothing and comfort items to homeless veterans to supporting VA hospitals and medical facilities. In fact, nationwide, nearly 1,000 Red Cross Volunteers donate over 85,000 hours to assist veterans at VA Medical Treatment Facilities throughout the nation.
“It is their way of saying thank-you to that special group of men and women who answered their country’s call and who are now cared for each day in VA clinics and medical centers,” Shufelt said.
For Maxson, the services provided by the Red Cross and Pilots for Christ offered peace of mind as he focused on getting well.
“It was fantastic,” he said. “They were really a great financial help to me and my wife.”