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Hastings Veterans Home bus travels in style

David Youngren signs the new bus at the Veteran's Home in Hastings. Youngren's photo of the Hastings bridge was used as a bus wrap. Michelle Wirth / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
The Veteran's Home in Hastings recently added a 12-passenger bus to their transportation vehicles. Michelle Wirth / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

An iconic symbol of Hastings will be traveling to and from the Veterans Home in Hastings with the facility's addition of a 12-passenger bus.

Through several local donors and grants, the Veterans Home received the bus with a photo wrap. The image is of the Hastings bridge photographed by local photographer David Youngren.

Sue Register, of the Veterans Home Volunteer Services, said that the new bus will improve transportation services at the facility.

"(The bus) adds a little more versatility to allow us to get our vets to local medical appointments," Register said.

The Veterans Home did previously have two larger buses and some vans, but it was difficult to accommodate wheelchair accessibility. The new addition will provide a solution to that and it will make it easier for staff to get in and out of venues with a smaller bus.

A bike rack was also placed on the bus, which allows veterans the opportunity to take a bike with them when they are dropped off in Minneapolis. The bus takes trips to the VA in Minneapolis and the bikes allow veterans to commute through the cities from the drop off and pick up location.

Register said that they are excited to have Youngren's photo displayed prominently on the new bus.

"It makes it fun, we want to bring joy to our vets, but also our community," Register said.

Youngren said that he thinks the bus wrap turned out great and he is proud of the community and organizations that donated money to the cause.

As for Youngren, he said that he likes to donate to the Hastings community. His father was a volunteer and an American Legion member, so he said it's in his nature to volunteer also.

"There's got to be more awareness for the veterans and I think this is a great way to do it and it's a great way to honor our community with our biggest icon," Youngren said.

The new bus at the Veterans Home was made possible with donations from V4V Veterans Grant, American Legion Department Foundation and Pheasant Fund Grants, Hastings VFW Post 1210, AFSCME Union, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Hastings, Abra Hovgaard, Hastings Eagles and Hastings Chrysler Ford.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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