Uncle Bob and the VA/

  • imageMy Aunt Wanda was taken to the hospital with pneumonia and her lungs were and still are in terrible shape with scarring. She has been there for two weeks so far and in spite of her condition her biggest concern is her dear husband of over 60 years. He now has Alzheimer’s and just can’t remember whether he’s taken his meds or not. If he were to drive somewhere alone he might get lost and couldn’t find his way home, but he never forgets Aunt Wanda or the fact that he’s a Christian and he tells everyone he meets that. He’s sweet to be with and can tell you many stories from the past. He loves talking about his days in the navy. He can repeat poems and sing songs of that time. So it occurred to me to check out the veterans association to see if there was any help for him there. You hear bad reports everyday about the VA and how the government won’t help the veterans after all their service but I thought I’d give it a try anyway. How could it hurt? First I went to Lexington, Kentucky and talked to my long time friend, Robert Barnard, who had been a chaplin in the army. He is retired now from that but is working again as a Chaplin for a veterans home in Wilmore, KY.  He gave me ideas to start with and phone numbers to call for help in Circleville, Ohio. I’m new at this and didn’t know that veterans have to get help from the state they are living in. A very important part of this puzzle too is they have to show their DD214. Now not being used to any military lingo, I thought, what the heck is a DD214? I starting calling the numbers Robert gave me which lead me to new numbers which lead me to more numbers and so on. I tried talking to Uncle Bob and if you got him onto the right subject he could give you his Navy ID number, and I found on his garage wall a framed Honorary Discharge paper and on Uncle Bob’s key chain was his dog tag. I thought well, with all this I formation, I’d be set. Wrong!! One of the numbers I called was the Pickaway County  VA office and I went straight down there. Everything I had brought with me was not enough to get that very important DD214 document!! Finally after talking and pleading and praying right in front of the lady there at this office she said she could call the county where he joined the navy and luckily I knew from my mother who was from the same area a name to start with. I also knew where he was born and close to the right birth date so now there were three people helping me. They found him in the system after all these years and she faxed to this VA office the famous DD214 paper, which looked like a birth certificate to me. With this new information the office lady went back to her boss and gave her all the information and I had an appointment with her for the next week. This made the fouth person helping me to get Uncle Bob enrolled. At this point I still didnt know much if any help was out there  to help Uncle Bob. My next move would be to go to the VA hospital in Chillicothe, Ohio. This veteran who was now working in the admitting office was so funny to watch. He knew his business backwards and forwards and jumped from chair to chair talking all the time, even faster than I do, and after calling the woman in Circleville the DD214 paper was faxed to him. He was the fifth person to help me. From there we were sent to the Social Security office to get Uncle Bob’s last year taxes to see what he had paid for his Medicare insurance.  This was the sixth person to help.

    I’m getting familiar with the right questions to ask. With the new information back to the VA office we went. This officer kept putting in all the information and to even his surprise over the computer came the words printed ENROLLED. The man told us of how Uncle Bob would qualify for medicines and doctors visits and a slew of others things I could barely hear because I was busy thanking God for all the wonderful help we were finally getting. The next day back to the Circleville office we went and everyone was so nice and helpful. He now has his veterans card  proudly in his billfold to show off. We got his DD214 paper documented and safely put it in his safety deposit box at the bank. I am so thankful to all the many veterans out there that helped us. And I’m telling this story so others will know that not all the bad stuff you hear is correct!!

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10 thoughts on “Uncle Bob and the VA/

  1. LeAnna Joy❣ You are one of God’s special Angels!! Aren’t you just the best ever and as Bob and Wanda’s cousin, along with yours, I want to give you a special thank you for what you’ve done! You are truly amazing and you are indeed a blessing to your family and friends! So proud of you❣ God bless you richly always! Love you dear Cuz🙏🏻 Bonnie

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  2. I agree — what an angel you have been in looking after your family when they’ve needed you. It’s just second nature to you though. 🙂 I’m especially happy that you were able to get help for your precious Uncle Bob. I have always LOVED that man; what a sweetheart he is. Also wanted to comment on the VA in Chillicothe. They have been helpful and wonderfully kind to my brother, Roger, who’s a Viet Nam veteran, suffering from severe COPD. He’s been hospitalized there a number of times for pneumonia and has always received excellent care. Prayers for your dear Aunt Wanda and Uncle Bob. ❤

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  3. Hello! I loved reading your story and I’m so happy that you were able to help Mr. Tacy with VA benefits. My husband has needed a dd14 before and it was a similar wild ride to track down one paper. My father in law spent his last years at the Chillicithe VA and they treated him so well that I too can attest to the good will there for our veterans.

    I’m one of Mrs. Tacy’s 3rd grade students and also a neighbor. She taught me to write in cursive and kept a Bible on her desk. She wore dresses, heels, and taught us songs she wrote. She was a soulful teacher. We bought our home in the neighborhood I grew up in so I’ve lived near them for years.
    I can also share they are devoted Christians and I know special angels. I’m not surprised to hear she is worrying about Mr. Tacy. They have continuously sent cards, flowers, dropped off treats and visited to celebrate our new home, our marriage, the birth of our children, my daughter’s long hospital stay, just to say hello and anytime my name appears in the paper I hear from them with congratulatory remarks to celebrate new jobs and honors just like family. She even remembered my birthday and my children’s birthdays. They always cared and made me feel special and I’m not sure why she always looked after me many many years after being her student. But I sure appreciated her handwritten cards and random acts of kindness. She has beautiful handwriting and often quotes Hellen Keller in her cards which I love. I carry her spirit with me as I became a teacher.

    Mr. Tacy used to ride his bike and travel around the neighborhood. He used to mow the elderly widow’s yard that separates our yards. A very sweet man. He always kept a very tidy garage as well. Just a good person. My father in law received excellent care at that VA in Chilli. Some of the staff even came to his funeral which was so kind. They treated him very well and our family. Thankful for this help for veterans.

    It breaks my heart to hear of their health issues. They are special people! I’m sending healing prayers and thankful you are helping them. God is good! If you talk with her please tell her Lisa Tolliver Sims who lives near her is worried as I heard she is ill. Tell her I’m praying my worries away that she will rest & make her way home. I’m so sorry to hear she is in the hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s quite a tale and I’m so glad Aunt Wanda has you to help! and Uncle Bob too. You ought to write a pamphlet for the VA. Step by step instructions. It would be so helpful to so many people! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. LeAnna, that is a wonderful story and you are wonderful for helping him. Its ridiculous all the running around and red tape involved in getting things done…..of course the VA didn’t know who they were dealing with!!! God Bless you dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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