Tag Archives: omnitrans veterans day

Richard Curtis, Vietnam Vet & Omnitrans Rider

We caught up with Richard Curtis at a bus stop in front of the VA hospital in Loma Linda. He is an Omnitrans regular on Route 2. He rides the bus to his appointments at the Loma Linda VA hospital where he also volunteers as a 2nd Floor Concierge four days a week.

The tall quiet vet talked to us about the three tours he served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam where he was shot down three times. “I was a prisoner of war for about nine months in Cambodia, before I managed to escape. The guys that held us used drugs, and while they were high I managed to gain their confidence. I listened to them talk and learned how to speak Vietnamese. They wanted to just sit out the war and not have any problems. Basically if we didn’t give them problems, they wouldn’t give us any. I guess you could say I caught them slipping and took that opportunity to escape.

There were five of us, but we had to split up when they started looking for us. Three of us walked for three days until we were picked up by the Marines. The other two are still missing in action. Afterwards I was in bad shape. I was suffering from malaria and dysentery. I weighed like 119 pounds. I spent about 4 months in recuperation then flew back to Vietnam.”

“I come to the VA now because have problems with my vision. During the war, a rocket exploded in front of my chopper and it almost popped my eyes out. I was bleeding out my eyes and my nose. But the VA Hospital here gives outstanding care, and I come here often.”

Richard paused for a moment, nodding at a couple of the vets who were disembarking from the bus, then continued.

“To tell you the truth, I’d rather ride Omnitrans than ride a car. I really would. The drivers are always courteous and friendly on this route. There’s two buses that run the route back-to-back so it’s pretty efficient and I can always make my appointments on time. Sometimes I read, sometimes I shoot the bull with the other vets that are on the bus. I like Omnitrans.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Do you have a great Omnitrans story to share? Let us know!
Email Juno Kughler Carlson at  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

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Omnitrans Honors America’s Veterans

On Veterans Day, our country pays tribute to more than 26 million brave Americans who have served in our armed forces. We owe the many freedoms we often take for granted to their collective sacrifice and dedication. Without them, our nation and world would be an entirely different place. To those who served, we say thank you.

REGISTER ONLINE FOR JOBS AT OMNITRANS.

Military veterans often possess the skills and training that match jobs in public transportation. Veterans and others interested in a career at Omnitrans can sign up to receive notifications of future job openings through the OmniAlerts section of the Omnitrans website, http://www.omnitrans.org. Current openings and general information about working at Omnitrans are posted online at www.omnitrans.org/about/careers/

Omnitrans Employs Vets in Many Roles.

Omnitrans is privileged to have 90 employees who are also military veterans, whom we have listed below. Just as they served our country in a variety of ways, these veterans are deployed in a variety of roles at Omnitrans, from Coach Operator to Equipment Mechanic, Department Director and more. One employee is currently on active duty and two are active reserve. We are proud to have them on our team.

  • Kevin Allen
  • Rick Alverez
  • Carol Angier
  • Joe Armenta
  • Darrell Bell
  • Patrick Belton
  • Mike Bonacio
  • Robin Bose
  • Salvador Botello
  • Allan Bowman
  • Byron Brown
  • Jon Bryant
  • Fausto Bustos
  • Diane Caldera
  • William Carnall
  • Craig Chance
  • Jami Cisneros
  • Edward Cooney
  • William Collins
  • Aron Cook
  • Joanne Cook
  • Kevin Copeland
  • Paul Coussa
  • Thomas Dahlin
  • Joseph Day
  • Leonard Diaz
  • Mark Donley
  • Dennis Eaves
  • John Ellis
  • Raymond Ellis
  • Xavier Estrada
  • Ronald Freeland
  • John Gavin
  • La’ Vern Gerald
  • Terrence Gipson
  • Andres Gomez
  • Scott Graham
  • William Hall Jr
  • Jerry Henry
  • Alejandro Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Manuel Herrera
  • Bryant Hogan
  • Brian Hoppie
  • Roy Hoskinson
  • Dion Igyarto
  • Verretta Johnson
  • Dennis Jones
  • Eric Keeney
  • Michael Kevorkian
  • Joseph Krolik
  • Effie Lee
  • Ralph Ligon
  • Elliot Lipsey
  • George Lizama
  • Ray Lopez
  • Daniel Luna
  • Glennvanni Maiquez
  • John Martinez
  • Albert Matthews
  • Herald Mc Coy
  • Dennis Mc Neir
  • Harold Mc Rant
  • Alan Mooney
  • Robert Neilson
  • Jack Oliver
  • Lionell Olley Sr.
  • Alfred Orozco
  • Gregory Owens
  • Robert Peters
  • Michael Plunkett Jr.
  • Dwaun Roberson
  • Archie Rockwell
  • Alex Rosas
  • Derman Redman
  • Phillip Sosa
  • Joseph Sozanski
  • John Stafford
  • Douglas Stanley
  • John Steffon
  • Hosia Stokes
  • Krafton Stoll
  • Wallace Tatum
  • Willie J Thomas
  • David Torres
  • Emilio Torres
  • Forrest Tucker
  • William Valle
  • Art Villagran
  • Donald Walker
  • Allen Wild
  • Paul Wichman
  • Clarence Wingfield
  • Martin Yedwalsky

PLEASE NOTE: Omnitrans buses will be running as scheduled on Monday, November 12th. However our administrative offices will be closed in observance of the Veterans Day holiday

Buses running, offices closed Monday

Omnitrans salutes America's Veterans

Holiday Schedule
Omnitrans buses will be running as scheduled thoughout the Veterans Day holiday. However our administrative offices will be closed on Monday, November 12th.

Our Proud Veterans
 If you see your any of your coach operators wearing one of these buttons over the weekend, you will know that they are one of the many military men and women employed by Omnitrans. Over the next few days we will be sharing some of their personal stories with you on our blog.

To all who have served in our nation’s military over the years, we salute you and thank you for your service.

Levi Lane, Navy Vet & Omnitrans Rider

Levi Lane served in the Navy on the USS Kitty Hawk as a Culinary Specialist. He’s been an Omnitrans rider for more than a year, and rides the Route 2 to the Veteran’s Center in Loma Linda five days a week, where he attends self-help group meetings. “I’d prefer to drive,” he said frankly, “but I can’t right now. So I bike or take Omnitrans wherever I have to go. It’s good to have the bus to fall back on whenever you need it.”

Levis is looking forward to the new sbX BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) service which is scheduled to begin in early 2014. It will cut his travel time in half, and he believes it will help eliminate bus overcrowding for those traveling the regular fixed route as well. As a cyclist, he’s also excited that the new sbX BRT line has interior bike racks which will make it more convenient to board and disembark. “I can’t wait!” he laughs.

When we spoke to him at the bus stop, Levi talked about how proud he was of his service as a vet, and the opportunity it gave him to help others. It’s a legacy he continues to pay forward today. “Several years ago, I suffered from depression and went to get help,” he said. “I saw there was a big need for people who could offer support, so I stuck around and began volunteering as resource counselor for adults suffering from mental illness and addiction. Helping others actually helped my own depression.”

Bob Sudal, former Mental Health Clinic Supervisor for San Bernardino County, believed in Levi and helped make it possible for him to continue his work. “Bob passed away a few months ago,” said Levi emotionally. “I really miss him. He believed in me. He sent me to school for free to get certified as a family and peer advocate. He helped others too—I wasn’t the only one.”

In 2007, Levi was awarded Honorable Mention for his work as a family and peer advocate by the County of San Bernardino. He is proud to have made a difference in the lives of so many people.

– Juno Kughler Carlson

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Do you have a great Omnitrans story to share? Let us know!
Email Juno Kughler Carlson at  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org