Veteran says medicine will run out because of an error

Veteran says medicine will run out because of an error

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Richard Ray is a Vietnam veteran, and he has diabetes.

"Well, Agent Orange will kill you, and I'm not ready to die yet," Ray said.

After many years of receiving help, he recently learned his VA benefits would stop.

"Last October, I get a letter, I'm not eligible to receive benefits from the VA."

In addition to receiving an honorable discharge from Vietnam, Ray admits to receiving an other-than-honorable discharge after he re-enlisted, but he said that hasn't impacted receiving benefits from the VA before.

"I've been going for 25 years," Ray said.

According to the VA, "to be considered a 'veteran' eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs health care benefits, a former service member must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable."

The letter Ray received from the VA says the exact same thing, that he needed to be discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, but his military records indicate that he hasn't received any dishonorable discharges.

So why are his benefits being stopped?

"The VBA up in Atlanta is saying that I'm dishonorable," Ray said. "So how can they override Washington giving me an honorable discharge?" 

Ray is working with his patient advocate in Augusta to help him appeal the decision from Atlanta's VA Benefits Administration.

But with less than a month's supply of insulin, Ray said he hopes they move quickly.

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