(UnitedVoice.com) As if losing your legs once wasn’t bad enough, an army veteran was humiliated recently when his prosthetic legs were repossessed because the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) refused to pay for them.
Jerry Holliman, who received two Bronze Stars, served in Iraq when he was 53 and Vietnam when he was 18. He spent a total of 40 years serving in the military.
While in Vietnam he was exposed to Agent Orange. He was diagnosed with three different forms of cancer, beating each one.
Holliman, who also suffers from diabetes, had to have both of his legs amputated after they became infected with gangrene. Four months after his legs were amputated, he received his prosthetics from a company called Hanger.
After a few rehab sessions where Holliman was learning how to use his new legs, he was told by Hanger that the VA was refusing to pay for his legs.
Two days before Christmas, his legs were repossessed. The decorated military vet was told that he should consult Medicare, but that a copay would be required.
A Bronze Star veteran in Collins is caught in limbo over prosthetic legs he needs to live an independent life and a fight surrounding who should pay for them. https://t.co/xQiFG9x37m
— Clarion Ledger (@clarionledger) January 9, 2020
Holliman was rightfully very upset by this. In an interview with the Ledger, he said, “Medicare did not send me to Vietnam. 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.”
But like many other veterans in the US, the VA has failed him.
“I Wanna Go Home”
On January 2, only after he talked to reporters, Hanger returned his legs. Something happened to them while they were confiscated and one of his legs needs to be adjusted and can’t be used without it collapsing. Hanger refuses to do any work on them until the VA pays.
The VA did provide a motorized wheelchair for Holliman before he lost his legs, but only one room of his house is wheelchair accessible. Holliman moved into a veteran’s home while adjusting to the use of his new legs. Once they were repossessed, he lost all hope of returning to his house, which is very upsetting to him.
“… I wanna go home. This place is not for me. It’s a dignified place for these guys to die, that’s what it is. It’s probably every other month somebody dies here. And you know what they do? Put a flag over them, and play ‘Taps’ and take them outta here.”
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