While some people might spend 15,000 hours watching television or commuting to work, these two men have spent an astonishing 15,000 hours shuttling disabled veterans to the hospital for medical treatment.
Over the course of the last 16 years, Bernardo Jaramillo and Mel Ortega have ensured that any veterans who may live in the smaller, more rural communities of New Mexico can be transported to the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque for major procedures and treatments.
Their services are offered through the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a nonprofit that helps disabled ex-military members and their families apply for benefits.
85-year-old Ortega has driven a staggering 200,000 miles for the service while 70-year-old Jaramillo has driven 100,000.
Both of the retired Army soldiers say that they enjoy driving for the veterans because it allows them to make new friends while they’re on the road – and they’re able to visit their old acquaintances at the hospital.
“When I was wounded in Vietnam, my brothers in arms, they never left me or the other guys behind,” Jaramillo told the Rio Grande Sun. “The reason I do this is, they never let me down, and I don’t intend to let ’em down. I don’t care from what war, we gotta serve them, because they served us.”
Ortega and Jaramillo are looking for a third volunteer driver so they can offer rides four days a week, rather than just three. If you’re interested in volunteering as a driver for DAV, be sure to check out the nonprofit’s website for more information.
Drive This Story To Your Friends: Click To Share – Photo by DAV