Over the last few decades, the Department of Veterans Affairs has let down a lot of our America’s bravest and brightest.
And today, we learn of another stunning letdown that’s leaving a bronze-star Vietnam veteran without a means of walking around.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, 69-year-old Jerry Holliman — who lost both legs during the Vietnam war and resides in a nursing home — had his prosthetic legs taken from him by a “professional repo man” just a few days before Christmas.
Holliman was exposed to Agent Orange, which was the main cause of many of his health problems over the years, and served in the Army & National Guard for over 40 years.
So, why were his legs repossessed? Well, the VA wouldn’t pay for them.
Holliman said that Medicare wanted him to be doing routine co-pays after the VA said they wouldn’t pay for them. As Holliman worked to navigate heaps of paperwork to figure everything out, he said he felt like he was getting left behind.
“Medicare did not send me to Vietnam,” Holliman said. “I was sent there by my country… with the understanding that if something bad happened to me, that it would be covered by the VA.”
Holliman said he got a pair of prosthetic legs in August from a company called Hanger, which has offices in Hattiesburg. After a few sessions with the Hanger staff, Holliman said he was told the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would not pay for his prosthetic legs.
He tried to raise the alarm with staff at the Veterans Home in Collins, a state-run facility, but Holliman said he knows the ultimate decision to pay for his prosthetic legs lies with the VA — an entity he compared to Goliath.
Holliman said he was encouraged to use Medicare to pay for the prosthetic legs, but he was never shown a total cost, and the forms indicated he would have to pay a co-pay.
So he refused, never expecting what would come next.
On Dec. 23, an employee from Hanger came to the Veterans Home to see Holliman. Holliman said the man was adjusting his prosthetic legs, then asked himto sign some paperwork for Medicare. Holliman said he declined because the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs should pay for the legs in full.
Currently, Holliman does not have any prosthetics and is forced to use a wheelchair to get around.
What do you think of Holliman’s prosthetic legs getting repossessed because the VA wouldn’t pay? Let us know what you think in the comments and be sure to vote in our daily poll below.