A decorated war veteran was temporarily left without his prosthetic legs after they were taken away from him just days before Christmas.
69-year-old Jerry Holliman is a Vietnam War veteran who had been serving in the Army for decades. Despite his contributions to the country, however, he claimed it is “ridiculous” just how little he got in return.
According to Holliman, his two prosthetic legs were repossessed by the vendor due to a lack of payment.
As the prosthetics vendor, Hanger Clinic, suggested to Holliman, he should file a claim with Medicare while making a co-payment on his own.
According to the veteran, however, Medicare refuses to cover the bills for artificial limbs whereas the veterans’ home he’s staying at can’t get involved in his personal matters either.
As Holliman insisted, the Veterans Administration should intervene and cover the remaining balance because he refuses to pay from his own pocket.
On December 23, a Hanger representative paid a visit to Mr. Holliman in an attempt to get him to sign Medicare papers. After the veteran refused to pledge to make a co-payment, however, his prosthetics were seized.
“He was always under the impression, ‘These were my legs.’ What he’s done for his community, his country … for them to have taken these legs is an insult,” son Jerald said in an interview with Clarion Ledger.
“I stayed in the military 40 years, I’m a Vietnam veteran, then I came back and I went into Iraq. I’ve had cancer three times from Agent Orange,” Mr. Holliman said in a video taken by the Ledger.
“I’m going through deep depression. I really want to throw in the towel. It’s because of them repossessing my legs like that. I was going through therapy to try and get up and go home. It’s not even worth it anymore.”
After the veteran’s story went viral, Hanger allegedly returned the prosthetics but denied the man any adjustments until the payments are made.
“They’re not going to do anything to them until the VA pays them,” Holliman added.
While the race to fund the man’s prosthetics continues, Holliman’s situation at the Collins’ veteran home is worsening.
“I was here for one thing — to get my prosthetic legs, learn how to walk in ’em, and go home. I’ve been here over a year. 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…” he told the Ledger.
In another interview, the veteran recalled his years in the Army and his service to the country.
“I went into Vietnam in 1970 and stayed in the military until I was 60 years old. This is ridiculous. Insane really. You spend so long, doing something for your country, and you expect it to do something in return, but it doesn’t happen,” the 69-year-old told DailyMail.com.
After volunteering to join the Army, Mr. Holliman finished his Basic Training and was honored with an accelerated promotion.
According to the PurpleHeartHomes.org website, Holliman joined the Vietnam War and became a 101 Airborne Division squad leader.
Following the events in Southeast Asia, the man continued to serve in Northern Iraq and Egypt where he took part in Operation Bright Star.
“Jerry participated in 37 convoy missions in Iraq from 2004 and 2005. In 2010, Jerry was honorably discharged after 40 years in the Army. He had reached the rank of Sergeant Master,” the website reads.
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