JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - About a dozen of local veterans are angry after they said they were left behind by a JTA bus driver near Regency Square Mall on Monday.
The veterans told First Coast News that they were taking Route 19 in order to go to a military appreciation event at a Golden Corral. They said they do it every year during Week of Valor.
"The bus driver left us behind," Erica Tenniswood said.
Tenniswood is one of those veterans and the most vocal. She said the reason for being left behind is baffling.
"The driver said I am behind scheduled," she said. "I don't have time to take you there."
After the bus driver left, trying to get to the event became difficult. She said they tried the shuttle and another bus, but no one was going in their direction.
"I felt like I had been forgotten by my country," Tenniswood said.
Tenniswood carries her Veterans Affairs card proudly. She said she served in Afghanistan 2006 to 2008 and now she's home battling with PTSD and other disabilities.
"A lot of disabled Vets have to use JTA to get around," she said.
She said the veterans were going to the Golden Corral on Merrill Road for Military Appreciation Night. She said their anticipation was high until the JTA bus driver shut the door on them.
"These bus drivers didn't have time to take us to our celebration," Tenniswood said.
She knows they can't change what happened, but Tenniswood said they would like an apology. She said she would also like to see the bus drivers receive sensitivity training.
"I really feel we were let down by the JTA," she said. "I feel that JTA needs to look more into the needs of those who have given so much."
The JTA is now investigating what happened. But according to a spokesperson, the bus in question does not have a stop any where near a Golden Corral.
The spokesperson said if the veterans did try a shuttle bus, that requires advanced scheduling.
The JTA will reach out to the veterans to resolve the complaint. A spokesperson said it sounds like it was a communications issue.
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