Getting to jobs, medical appointments is a big challenge for some veterans. Here's one possible fix


U.S. Marine Corps veteran Mickey Harlow speaks with WCPO on Feb. 18, 2020 on Liberty Street in Over-the-Rhine.

Harlow bore with those "horrible jobs" for a month before he could save up enough money to purchase a monthly Cincinnati Metro/Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky bus pass.

Once he had the pass, things changed, he said: Suddenly, he had a way to get to and from the Amazon facility, where he knew he could find work.

"If it weren't for Metro, I'd be stuck working minimum wage down here somewhere," he said. "It helps a lot."

Today, Harlow is still living at Joseph House, a recovery and treatment facility serving veterans in OTR. Although he's grateful that his time there granted him the opportunity to save enough for his bus pass — Metro and TANK 30-day passes range in price from $70 to $170 — not all of his fellow veterans have the chance to save up that sort of money for transportation.

It turns out, Harlow said, having a ride that's reliable and affordable can mean the difference between a veteran's successful transition to life back home and finding that he or she has no home at all.

Job possibilities... if you can make it there

Chris Macklin served in the U.S. Army for eight years before he broke his leg and had to return home. After going down what he described as a "rocky road" following his discharge, he now works with Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati, a social services agency that assists veterans and others in need of help finding employment, housing and access to health care.

"My job is to get them where they want to be as soon as possible," he said. "If we have the transportation, it makes a big difference."