RSVP Vets Helping Vets

Amy Lasch, center, has been serving as drivers for Judith, left, and Arthur Clough for about a year through the RSVP Vets Helping Vets program.

Arthur Clough loves to sing, Judith Clough loves books and Amy Lasch loves to give back as a volunteer.

The trio met through RSVP’s Vets Helping Vets (VHV) program. The program provides rides free of charge to medical and other important appointments for veterans and their family members who don’t have access to other transportation.

Judith and Arthur, a retired U.S. Army veteran with 28 years of service, came to Verona from Texas in 2017 to be near daughter Heather Bowers. When they first arrived, Bowers did all of the driving for them — to the Verona Senior Center, the library and any events they hoped to attend.

It got to be a lot for Bowers, and that’s where Amy Lasch, who volunteers for RSVP as a VHV driver and in the Madison office, comes in.

“When my kids went off to college I had extra time, and I wanted to give back,” Lasch said. “I enjoy volunteering and it’s important.”

Bowers said she would be at “my wits end without the service,” as Lasch began driving her parents about a year ago.

Lasch, who works 70 percent time as a physician assistant for UW-Health in Madison, recalled early on when Arthur couldn’t remember her name and called her “Tammy.” Soon, she’d been driving them enough that, “He made an effort to remember my name and says ‘I know, your name is Amy!’”

Bowers said the trips are important to her parents.

“Dad sang on both Veterans Day and Memorial Day at the Verona Senior Center and my mom’s rides to the library every two weeks are an incredible, critical thing for her,” she said. “She sometimes leaves the library with 10 books to consume.”

Lasch remembers how proud Arthur was when he sang for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. She’s happy their relationship has become more than just driver and passenger.

“When (Arthur) sees me he says with a big hug, ‘It feels like forever since I’ve seen you!’” Lasch said.

– Submitted by Luanne Fax, RSVP of Dane County