Anthony Letter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Husband dying, wife pleads to VA for correct benefit, income

My husband Thomas Anthony enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam War 1971. Due to an accident his neck was broken and skull fractured. He was discharged with 100 percent service connected injuries.

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I know head injuries were not recognized then, but he foolishly thought he could work and told VA to shove their check. He thought he could work only to find he couldn’t. He has been unemployed since 1993 and unemployable since 2001 due to nasopharyngeal cancer with open trachea.

In 1974 he started having seizures which went undiagnosed until January 2007. The VA doctor said they were caused by an old head trauma. Medical records prove his 100 percent  service-connected disability, not the 50 percent which he now draws.

Now here it is 2009 my husband is dying and his head injury is still not rated and VA says he’s employable. My God he’s on hospice.

My husband has been appealing since 1993. I’ve been working on this for four years and to top it off they have withheld $6,350 from his pay which should not have been. I’ve proven this numerous times since 2005 and never received that back. They did this to a man who received less than $10,000 per year.

I have contacted former and current elected officials, lawyers, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and any and all advocates I could think of to no avail. I’m not asking for anything he hasn’t earned or is not entitled to, just health benefits and correct amount of income.

My question is will the government ever recognize my husband and thousands of other veterans for the heroes they are or will my husband simply become another old soldier who fades away?

Debra Anthony