Target 8: Veteran struggles with V.A. for 9 years over incorrect records

Keith and Debbie Addis
Keith and Debbie Addis

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) — Keith and Debbie Addis of Sebring, took a short stroll at their Bradenton hotel before he checked into a hospital this morning for a heart procedure.

“I don’t know what’s happening with this congestive heart failure thing,” Keith said.

So, Keith is trying to tie up loose ends with the V.A. “She can apply for my benefits if something happens,” he added.

But, there’s one small V.A. snafu preventing Debbie from applying for any V.A. benefits. “They’ve got me down as single status,” lamented Keith.

Keith Addis served in the Air Force in the 70’s.  He and Debbie married in the 80’s. Keith receives a small disability check for an injury he suffered in the service. He’s tried for 9 years to get his status with the V.A. changed to married.

“Quite honestly when you call they say, thank you for your service and we’re not going to do anything for you,” explained Keith. He provided the V.A. with their marriage license, birth certificates, and tax forms.

“They said your wife’s middle initial is not right, well they made out the form,” stated Keith.

Five months ago he asked Florida Congressman Tom Rooney (R) for help. “It’s become urgent since I got into this heart failure situation,”said Keith.

Keith is running out of patience, he worries he’s running out of time. “They wait til you’re dead so they don’t have to worry about it anymore,” he added.  “This should’ve been like (finger snap) that.  This should have been the easiest thing in the world, do you have a marriage license?  Yes.”

Frustrated, he contacted Target 8.

I sent an email Tuesday morning, asking the V.A. to look into Keith’s marital status issue.

On Wednesday afternoon I heard back, “The issue has been resolved.”

Now, Keith hopes doctors resolve his heart problems so those strolls with Debbie can continue.

We’ll have more tonight at 6 on WFLA News Channel 8.

If you have something that you think should be investigated, call our Target 8 Helpline at 1 800 338-0808.

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