PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs has received $500,000 to provide free transportation to medical appointments for veterans living in 10 of the nation’s most rural counties.
The money will go to transportation agencies in Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Lake, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Wallowa and Wheeler counties.
Nearly 9,500 veterans live in these counties, which have a population of fewer than seven people per square mile.
Oregon has secured the grants since 2014 and this year it will receive the maximum amount of $50,000 per county.
The grants allow local transportation agencies to provide free transport for veterans to and from medical appointments that are often hours away from their homes.
Nearly 300 counties in 25 states qualify as “highly rural counties” and can apply for the grant money.