Big Surprise For My Vietnam Vet Uncle UPDATE

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by Laurajean, May 15, 2011.

  1. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Please see my most recent post for an update...

    My uncle was in the Vietnam War. Like many other veterans of that war, he came out of it with a lot of problems, emotionally and physically. He and my aunt are both disabled, and have always been essentially poor. Always struggling to make ends meet, on assisted rental housing, etc. They raised both of their kids, and when their adult daughter was unable to properly care for her infant son, they adopted their grandchild and raised him too. He's now 16 and doing great. I have watched them move many times over the years, although they have been in their current rented house for 13 years. I've watched them have yard sales, basically selling everything they own, in order to pay rent or bills or feed their kids. My uncle suffers from severe PTSD & Depression from the war, and has many health problems from the war.

    Over 25 years ago, he applied for Service Connected Disability for his war-related health problems and was denied. It has always felt like a slap in the face to him of course. He served our country and has lived a life of near-poverty and sadness ever since. Despite it, they've been happily married for almost 40 years. My aunt was in a severe accident in the early 1980's, breaking her back, and so she has been disabled all of these years as well. Life for them has been very tough.

    Yesterday, my aunt called me with amazing news. Recent studies have finally proven that my Uncles' health problems ARE now considered service related, and my Uncle received a check out of the blue for all the years he should have been receiving Service Related Disability, retroactively, which is around a half a million dollars! They went out and bought themselves their first home. Bought it outright, no mortgage. And they are able to renovate it, adding handicap accessible features, wide doors, ramps, etc. to accommodate my aunt's wheelchair. It's a beautiful house on Cape Cod, she sent me pictures and it's a house to envy. Not a mansion, just a nice, well built, problem free house that my aunt will be able to navigate with ease, as opposed to the cramped rentals they've lived in for the last 30+ years.

    They will be off assisted housing for the first time ever. They will own their own house, and they will be a bit more free of the stigma they've both faced being disabled and judged for being on assistance. They are both Jehovah's Witnesses, which don't engage in patriotic holidays, and so as a result, many people are not even aware that my uncle is a Vet. He doesn't get the 'thank you's' and handshakes you see other vets today get.

    I am so incredibly happy for them, I almost can't describe it. Finally, in their 60's, they can enjoy the comfort of owning their own home and not worrying about bills, or dealing with public assistance anymore.

    When my grandmother died, I never received anything of hers. I was hoping for anything, a cheap peace of jewelry, or a belonging of hers, purely for sentimental reasons. When my aunt realized this, almost 20 years after my Nana died, she gave me a few sentimental items that belonged to my Nana. When my uncle heard once what I went through as a child, with an abusive and neglectful mother, he told me they would have taken me if they had known. Years ago, when I was invited to go to The Phantom of The Opera with my then-husbands' family, but had nothing to wear because I was poor, my aunt, equally poor, sent me $100 so that I could buy a special outfit. They have been good, honest, loving people. I am so thrilled for them now, that Karma has FINALLY given something back, albeit late.

    I just wanted to share my joy for them both,
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Oh Laura, that is one of the best things I have read in a long while. I know you don't believe as I do, however: All in God's time. I am sure they are extremely grateful right now.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    AMEN AMEN AMEN!!! Long overdue!

    I am a former military wife and have seen the crap that the soldiers go through and the lack of
    after-service support they get!! I have long been disgusted w/the way our society & government
    treats our vets!!!

    I AM SOOO happy to hear that they are going to be happy and not struggling anymore!!! What a tremendous blessing!!
     
  4. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Quote:I look at it as Karma. Finally getting what back some of what they've put out there. Regardless of what it is, they really deserve this, I'm just thrilled for them. My aunt called earlier and caught me crying. She said, "Oh no, what's wrong?!" And I blurted out, "Nothing, I'm just so happy for you...". I know, I'm a sap. I'm very emotional, I can't help it. I like to see good people get good.

    They've had the money since December, and I asked her, "So have you splurged on anything?" And she said they bought a $50 Lego Castle for their son. A half a million dollars, and six months later all they've "splurged" on is a toy for their kid. How amazing is that? (I don't really call the house a splurge because they desperately needed that).
     
  5. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:I look at it as Karma. Finally getting what back some of what they've put out there. Regardless of what it is, they really deserve this, I'm just thrilled for them. My aunt called earlier and caught me crying. She said, "Oh no, what's wrong?!" And I blurted out, "Nothing, I'm just so happy for you...". I know, I'm a sap. I'm very emotional, I can't help it. I like to see good people get good.

    They've had the money since December, and I asked her, "So have you splurged on anything?" And she said they bought a $50 Lego Castle for their son. A half a million dollars, and six months later all they've "splurged" on is a toy for their kid. How amazing is that? (I don't really call the house a splurge because they desperately needed that).

    Laura, these are people have had NOTHING for so long and now they have ALOT. It is confusing, intimidating, a world they do not know!! A lego set is a good start!!!!
     
  6. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Wow...that brought tears to my eyes...I had no idea where you were going with that. It's great to hear news like that. Makes me happier 'n a pig in slop! I am so happy for your aunt & uncle to finally own their own home.
     
  7. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Quote:I look at it as Karma. Finally getting what back some of what they've put out there. Regardless of what it is, they really deserve this, I'm just thrilled for them. My aunt called earlier and caught me crying. She said, "Oh no, what's wrong?!" And I blurted out, "Nothing, I'm just so happy for you...". I know, I'm a sap. I'm very emotional, I can't help it. I like to see good people get good.

    They've had the money since December, and I asked her, "So have you splurged on anything?" And she said they bought a $50 Lego Castle for their son. A half a million dollars, and six months later all they've "splurged" on is a toy for their kid. How amazing is that? (I don't really call the house a splurge because they desperately needed that).

    Laura, these are people have had NOTHING for so long and now they have ALOT. It is confusing, intimidating, a world they do not know!! A lego set is a good start!!!!

    For sure. She said she still doesn't think it's sunken in yet. When they first received the money, she called me up in a panic because she was afraid she would lose her rental housing assistance because of this money. I actually had to say "HELLO, you won't need that anymore!" Fortunately she's very money smart, so I know she won't blow it. The new house is beautiful and all she keeps talking about is the washer and dryer! LOL.
     
  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    35,112
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    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Laura, i've written replys twice to this now and not hit the send button because i wanted to check my response...
    This is a VERY sensitive subject for me right now..
    PLEASE, tell your Uncle for me that i THANK him for serving our country ..and that i am ASHAMED for the way, that he, a hero, has been treated.
    Very, VERY ashamed of my country for things like this.
    Let him know that many, MANY people have NOT forgotten what he has sacrificed.

    My father is also a Vietnam Vet..(2 tours)... and hes recently been diagnosed with a rare blood cancer... his doctors have mentioned Agent Orange, (which he knows he was exposed to.) But, of course, noone will ever claim that, because theres no PROVEN correlation with THIS cancer yet and it..(yet, his doctors did mention it.. why?)...
    And of course, i was also born with a chromosome disorder.... Hmmm i wonder..

    Anyways.... Please tell your Uncle what i said... and even though i'm not religious, if its true, please pray for my father... hes not doing well at all... hes not hungry... hes bone thin and has no appetite to eat... which he needs to keep up his strength to fight this evil disease. They said he may need a bone marrow transplant... and his sibling(brother), is his best hope..
    Why cant i save him?? I'm his daughter...
    Gah.. now i'm bawling again.... [​IMG]
     
  9. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Quote:I had a hard time writing the original post. I kept tearing up, couldn't see the screen, had to step away, come back and type some more....

    For me, they are extra special, because both my aunt and uncle are my blood aunt and uncle. No they aren't related, ha ha, it works like this: My aunt is my father's sister. And my uncle is my mother's brother. They were the maid of honor and best man at my parents wedding, fell in love, and married a year after my parents. So they are extra special to me. Incidentally, my own parents are LONG divorced, but my aunt and uncle are still happy and in love.
     
  10. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Thank you Wendy. [​IMG] I WILL read yours and other responses to my uncle and aunt. They will be truly touched. My uncle flew helicopters and I'm not sure of the specifics, but I do know he had a lot of contact with Agent Orange also.

    I'm sorry if my story got you thinking about your father and his health... [​IMG] I will be meditating for your father and wishing for good health and healing to come his way; I am so sorry, I can sense your pain even through typing. [​IMG] Thank you for taking the time to honor my uncle despite your own struggles.

    Stupid monitor, it's getting all blurry again.... (I should have just named this The Crying Thread!)
     

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