BATH, N.Y. (WETM)- Meet William Martin, a local man trying to give back to the homeless veteran community. To do so, today he rode a bike from Corning to the Bath VA.
Bath VA Medical Center is a U.S. Veterans Administration hospital located in Bath, Steuben County, New York. Affiliated with the University of Rochester School of Medicine, it provides secondary care and operates clinics in Elmira and Wellsville, New York; and Coudersport and Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.
“It’s about 25 miles, 26, somewhere in that vicinity,” says Martin. He is not a veteran himself, but he has veterans in his family.
This isn’t his first time biking for awareness. He says, “this would be my fifth or sixth year. I’m hoping to let people know that they’re still homeless vets out there, and they need to acknowledge them, just like everybody else, you know, even if we give them a cup of coffee you know pat on the back, say thank you for your service, you know, anything along that line. You know that that’ll give them the biggest smile on their face.”
The bike ride isn’t all he’s doing for the veterans. He’s donating his bike to the Bath VA. The medical center says they are grateful for this donation because it can help a veteran in more ways than one.
“We’re appreciative of this donation to receive a bike for our homeless veterans here in the rural area is really going to be wonderful for our veterans do sometimes lack transportation, to be able to get to the grocery store, do laundry, things like that. It’s also great for veterans, just to get out and get some exercise, it’s great for your physical health and your mental health. So, a donation like this is just extremely appreciative so we can’t thank him enough to think of us here at the bath, VA,” says Michelle Cinque-Guarglia, Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program Manager.
So why does Martin do this? He says “I just love doing this kind of stuff, you know, fixing bikes riding bikes, donating bikes, and it’s always for a good cause.”
The Bath VA says they greatly appreciate the support to raise awareness for homeless Veterans. If you would like to donate, all donations can be made through Bath’s Center for Development & Civic Engagement at 664-4771