Atlanta woman fights for husband's VA benefits for 30-plus years - WNEM TV 5

Atlanta woman fights for husband's VA benefits for 30-plus years

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An Atlanta widow said she has fought for more than 30 years to get the veteran's benefits her husband deserves.

Rodney Truitt suffered a brain injury while serving in the Vietnam War. He was later treated at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. His wife, Patricia, told CBS46 she fought for full benefits while her husband was alive and since his death in 2009.

Truitt said the VA hospital left needles in her husband's arm that contributed to his death. She has an apology letter from former Sen. Max Cleland for the mistakes made at the hospital.

"They left needles in my husband after his mouth surgery and it caused the problem of his death," said Patricia Truitt.

Truitt estimates the VA owes her more than a million dollars for the full benefits her husband was entitled to.

"I have had Washington tell me that I have a tremendous amount of money coming to me, and I have not received it," said Truitt.

She has enlisted the help of the American Legion Post 911 in southwest Atlanta.

"I am totally frustrated," said Jack Jackson, the senior commander of the post. "I'm angry and am appalled that the system would put her through this."

Jackson helped Truitt win a lawsuit in 2012. A judge ruled that Truitt was entitled to full benefits but she said she has still not received them.

"I have never seen anything like this," said Jackson. "I think Mrs. Truitt is going through a lot of hardship and turmoil. I don't understand why they would put a veteran or a widow of a veteran through what she's been through." 

CBS46 News contacted representatives from the VA in Washington but received no response.

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