Longview, TX — He did not intend it that way, but Jason Dean’s Thursday trip to the VA Hospital in Dallas for injuries he suffered while serving in the Mideast offered organizers of EastTexConnects an ideal example of what they hope more people will take advantage of.
Dean, an Air Force veteran from Waskom, was at the Longview Amtrak station about 8:30 a.m. getting ready to board the passenger train to Dallas with plans to return to East Texas later in the day on Amtrak’s return trip.
His round trip on Amtrak cost about $40. And, while Dean said once he gets into the VA system he hopes to be taken care of at the VA Hospital in Shreveport, the Dallas trip was a necessary part of the process.
His solo trip happened to coincide with a joint effort of several area transportation-related entities that are starting to promote use of public transportation like that provided by Longview Transit or East Texas Council of Government’s GoBus system, according to John Hedrick, ETCOG director of transportation.