Thursday, August 30, 2007

But I got up this morning....

Three years ago, Lisa Kohlhagen, 22, of Colbert GA, was almost through basic training in the Army when she had a bad fall. She was discharged for a stress fracture in her knee and the VA approved her for a 10 percent disability.

"I can't stand for long periods, I can't bend down, I can't jump. I can't do any exercise that involves my legs," stated Kohlhagen.

Her knee still isn't what it used to be but she has managed so far with the additional $115 a month she received in disability. Two months ago, her checks stopped coming with no explaination, so she called the Army to find out why. Kohlhagen was in for a shock when the Army explained why her checks had stopped.......... they told her that she was dead.

She said that it only took them a couple of days for the VA to realize that she was, in fact, alive. A couple of days in which she had repeatedly told them that she was alive and they kept trying to convince her that she was dead. I know, it sounds like a line from a "Monty Python" movie and I kept waiting for the punchline as I read the report....... VA heads out with frying pan, to make sure she is dead, one way or another.

It was a couple of months ago that she convinced the VA she was alive but she still has not begun receiving her disability checks. Every time she had called, she has been told it would be another two weeks until three weeks ago. Now she has been told that it would be six months before she saw a check and in the meantime, she has bills to pay that she has needed that check to cover monthly.

In what seems to be routine business for the VA, they took a very short time to declare a young, non-combat involved veteren dead and now are dragging their feet to correct their mistake. As so many using the VA now, she is facing the same cover-ups, mistakes and very slow and at times, inept service..... service that has been declining rapidly in recent years. I suppose it is a good thing that Kohlhagen wasn't actually in a VA hospital when they began the debate as to whether or not she was actually "dead."

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