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JohnnyD44 03-19-2010 09:10 PM

Touching moment at work today.....(lengthy!)
I'm not sure if any one you read my "getting to know you post"....but I work for the Department of Veteran Affairs in Philadelphia, PA. We have several different programs running through our, education benefits, compensation (injuries from war) and pension (money for veterans and widows with little to no income).

I work for the last of the two, our pension department. My day consists of a lot of paper work and is basically data entry, in a nut shell. We process the claims submitted by veterans or widows. Alot of our claims are for veterans or widows who have grown old and are now in nursing home and are on a very low, fixed income. Most of them are WW2 veterans....

My boss came back to me and said he had a big problem on his hand. This veteran and his widow were having problems getting his claim approved. To make a long story short....some of our forms are very confusing and he didn't report some income that he should have (happens all the time). He had been trying to get his claim approved for over 7 months...(typical time frame) He and his wife were facing foreclosure on their home which he built from the ground up with his own hands and with his sons!!!!

I knew I had to do something....I was able to adjust his claim on the spot, fix an error in our system which kept rejecting him. I told him my boss to tell him he would be receiving a check in 7-10 days for a retroactive amount, 7 months worth of pension checks which is a little over $11,000!!!!!!!!!

The veteran was so touched that I helped him on the spot, that he wanted to meet me. I walked out to him and his wife crying in joy. I almost teared up a little myself. His wife hugged me and told me that with that check they would be able to keep their home they have owned for over 55 years!

The veteran also gave me a hug. I learned that he was in the Battle of Iwo Jima in Japan and had a multitude of medals to his name. He shook my hand. He asked if I was a vet myself, I told him I wasn't. He told me he didn't care.... and then told me "I've fought along side some of the toughest sons of bitches I've ever met, but none of that measures up to how you helped me and my wife today."

Now, I know the work we do helps veterans their families, but to see it and experience it first hand was something I'll never forget.

aunt kymmie 03-19-2010 09:14 PM

Great story, Johnny. I'm really glad you were able to help them. A veteran of Iwo Jima? Wow. He's the last of a dying breed. Nice to hear something good at the end of a day!!

Oldfishlady 03-19-2010 09:27 PM

Awesome job and "thank You" for all our veterans.....I worked for the Dept of Veterans Affairs for 18 years before I retired a few years ago, It was in the medical part but I did work closely with other areas that helped our veterans financially and it can be a thankless job at times.....good job....and keep it up...I know all the red tape at times can be frustrating but as you found out it is worth every second and inch of red tape that you have to wade through.....and to see the smile on another persons face and the relief that you gave them is worth every minute you spent helping them....thank you.....

JohnnyD44 03-19-2010 09:30 PM


yeah, they're aren't too many Iwo Jima survivors left....I did a google search and only 600 survived the actual battle. 1945 was a loooong time ago!

Adelheidi 03-19-2010 09:36 PM

Wow, that's awesome! It's always amazing to be able to know you have such an impact on a life like that!

dramaqueen 03-19-2010 10:05 PM

Great story! I'm glad you were able to help them and that they are able to keep their home.

Mean Harri 03-20-2010 12:23 AM

Awesome story. I'm glad you were able to help. It's a damn shame that people who give so much and fight for this country end up in a situation like this in the first place. Bravo Johnny. Good job.

1077 03-20-2010 01:57 AM

One can only imagine the relief that the couple must feel thanks to your efforts. Wish I could give YOU a medal. My hat's off to you, and all of those who serve in the armed forces so that we may sleep snugly,and safely ,in our beds each evening.

Romad 03-20-2010 06:26 AM

What a great story. Kudos to you and all of our veterans.

bloo97 03-20-2010 06:42 AM

Thats Very nice!

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