Fellow Blue NCers, This one is a Shocker! A real Shocker! Knowing what I know though it isn’t hard to believe!
. - James L. Hogan got some shocking news in the mail last month. He'd been dead for months, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The department wrote to the Vietnam veteran's "estate" seeking a return of the $23,231 in veteran benefits issued to Hogan since his "death." "Based on that amount, I figure I must've died sometime around July," said Hogan, who is alive and living in Florence. "I'm still trying to get an answer as to who signed my death certificate." Although Hogan has kept a sense of humor about the mistake, it's caused plenty of problems. The Veterans Affairs office stopped his benefits. Hogan said he has about $8,000 coming to him.
I hope I never get one of these Letters! You notice that the VA didn't even so much as offer him a grave marker! Or even an Honor Guard! Sounds like somebody really FUBARED on this! Now for the Congressional reply!
He's already had to let his home health care worker go, because he couldn't pay her. He also worries about medical bills and paying rent for his apartment. Hogan contacted U.S. Rep. Bud Cramer's office, setting off a series of calls. Hogan has been told the mistake has been corrected and to look for a check for what he is owed. The disabled veteran says his financial situation is dire without the check. Hogan, who served in Vietnam with the U.S. Navy from 1963-65, received $2,900 a month from the VA office. He paid $600 of that for a home-health worker. Hogan, who has a prosthetic leg, said he was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. He's had more than 30 procedures to remove skin cancer. There's also rent for his apartment.
This wasn’t Hogan’s Mistake, but I can guarantee somebody somewhere has had a good laugh out of it and it isn’t a laughing matter! How does Hogan feel?
"I guess that's how veterans become homeless," he said. Meanwhile, Hogan is still trying to find out how he died. He wrote a letter to the Montgomery VA's office on March 27. The first sentence stated, "I am not dead." He asked for a copy of his death certificate and other paperwork about his demise. He's still waiting. "I just want everyone to know I did not go hunting with Dick Cheney, and I'm not dead," he said.