Volunteer fighting for veterans' safety

Officials looking at dangerous driveway
Posted at 4:13 PM, Sep 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 09:50:26-04

Mary Ellen Harlan is on a mission to keep people safe.

“I’m a widow. And I don’t want anybody else to be a widow,” she said.

Harlan volunteers at the James Haley Veteran’s six days a week. She’s piled up more than 32,000 hours there.

“The fellas lost their lives on the battle ground during war and they got injured during the war. And they got injured coming back with PTSD. And our veterans don’t need to be killed on Bruce B. Downs coming into the VA to be treatment,” she said.

People who frequently use the area, especially those going to the VA and students walking to USF say the problem really got bad when a new apartment complex opened up next to the hospital.

“Oh this is terrible. There is just an endless stream all day,” said Ann Sinkowski.

Traffic going in and out of the driveway between the apartments and the VA is non-stop.

And there is nothing to protect people walking on the sidewalk.

“You just take your life in your hands,” said Minkowski.

Harlan and her supporters are asking for a traffic light, a cross walk, signs to lower the speed limit.

Anything they can get to make this place safer.

“It’s been many years they’ve been fighting this. We are saying we want the light now,” said Harlan.

Mary Ellen spoke out about the problem at last week’s Hillsbourgh County Commission meeting.

And help seems to be coming.

Officials said the county is working together with the VA and USF.

They are coming up with a design and cost for the signal.

She’ll be included in the process.

But in the meantime, it’s back to volunteering.

She’s making sure our veterans get everything they need.