DMV 2 Go, VA Mobile Vet Center on hand to assist 1710th Soldiers as they prepare to mobilize

Myrt Quinlan, deputy director of Customer Service Management Administration with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, assists a Soldier from the Virginia National Guard’s 1710th Transportation Company April 2, 2013 in Emporia, Va. DMV 2 Go, a mobile, full-service, office on wheels provided a wide range of DMV services to the unit’s Soldiers as they prepared to deploy to Afghanistan April 3, 2013. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Myrt Quinlan, deputy director of Customer Service Management Administration with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, assists a Soldier from the Virginia National Guard’s 1710th Transportation Company April 2, 2013 in Emporia, Va. DMV 2 Go, a mobile, full-service, office on wheels provided a wide range of DMV services to the unit’s Soldiers as they prepared to deploy to Afghanistan April 3, 2013. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

EMPORIA, Va. — Representatives in mobile offices from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles were among those on hand to provide support and assistance to the deploying Soldiers of the Virginia Army National Guard’s 1710th Transportation Company, April 2 in Emporia, Va.

The VA provided one of their 20 Mobile Vet Centers to support the Soldiers and family members of the 1710th. The vehicles are equipped with confidential counseling space and a state of the art communication package. They travel to communities throughout the country to extend the VA’s reach to veterans, servicemembers and their families and inform them of the many benefits and services the VA provides.

Since 2008, the VA has made an extra effort to connect to reserve and National Guard units, according to Foster Meadors, a Readjustment Counseling Technician with the VA and one of two employees on hand in Emporia to assist the Soldiers.

“We not only provide counseling and enrollment to Soldiers but to their family members as well,” Meadors said. “We’ll be here when they return and assist the families and Soldiers at that time too.”

The DMV’s mobile, DMV 2 Go is a full service office on wheels that provides all DMV transactions including applying for and renewing driver’s licenses and adult and child ID cards. Road and knowledge tests are available, and applicants may get their pictures taken and complete vision screenings. Customers can order disabled parking placards or plates, and get vehicle titles, license plates and decals.

“Any customer who is leaving their home state for a long period of time likely needs to interact with DMV,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. ”A person who will not be driving their vehicle for a while may need to deactivate his or her plates; someone whose driver’s license will expire during deployment can renew early. DMV 2 Go can help walk service members through the steps they need to take before heading abroad.”

Foster Meadors, a Readjustment Counseling Technician with the Department of Veterans Affairs, provides information about VA benefits to Soldiers with the Virginia Army National Guard’s 1710th Transportation Company April 2, 2013 in Emporia, Va. The VA sent one of their Mobile Vet Centers to Emporia to support the Soldiers and family members of the 1710th as they prepared to mobilize for duty in Afghanistan April 3, 2013. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Foster Meadors, a Readjustment Counseling Technician with the Department of Veterans Affairs, provides information about VA benefits to Soldiers with the Virginia Army National Guard’s 1710th Transportation Company April 2, 2013 in Emporia, Va. The VA sent one of their Mobile Vet Centers to Emporia to support the Soldiers and family members of the 1710th as they prepared to mobilize for duty in Afghanistan April 3, 2013. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Four DMV employees were on hand to assist the Soldiers and, according to them, the most popular transaction was the renewal of vehicle tags. A number of Soldiers also looked into limited powers of attorney so their spouses or parents can take care of their vehicle while they are gone.

“We wanted to be here in order to help them take care of anything they needed,” said Myrt Quinlan, the deputy director of Customer Service Management Administration at the DMV. “It’s our pleasure to be here and help them before they deploy.”

The presence of the mobile offices was appreciated by the Soldiers as well as the unit leadership.

“It was very helpful to have them come to us,” explained Capt. Rodney Rhodes, commander of the 1710th Transportation Company. “We have such a large company and we have so many other things to do before we leave. It’s always better when they come to us because that’s one less place for Soldiers to have to go and it ultimately means more time with their families before we leave.”

“It is important that we do everything we can to help support Soldiers and their families as they prepare for a federal deployment,” said Col. Michelle Rose, commander of the 329th Regional Support Group, the higher headquarters in Virginia for the 1710th Transportation Company. “We have many resources available from the Virginia National Guard, but we are very fortunate to have additional support from outside agencies like the DMV.”

The Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company held a departure ceremony the next day and left on April 4 for mobilization training at Fort Hood, Texas. They will then deploy to Afghanistan where they are expected to perform the mission of transportation support operations. The mobilization is planned to last 12 months. The 1710th Transportation Company last served on federal active duty in Iraq where they provided medium lift transportation capabilities that moved critical supplies from logistical support areas out to forward operating bases from May 2008 to February 2009. The unit traveled routes throughout Iraq and conducted more than 75 missions, traveling more than 900,000 miles.


Photos: DMV 2 Go, VA Mobile Vet Center on hand to assist 1710th Soldiers with mobilization preparations- April 2, 2013