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LJWorld.com weblogs The Front Lines

Disabled veteran about to be evicted

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Gary Connellis and his family are about to be evicted from their Leavenworth apartment.In [a couple][1] of Front Line [blogs this summer][2], Connellis' problems obtaining disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were outlined.Connellis suffered numerous injuries in 2006 while serving in the Army during the war on terror. He received an honorable medical discharge and the VA determined he was 30 percent disabled.To make a long, complicated story short, Connellis found out additional information about his injuries that the Army hadn't passed on the VA. He has asked that he be declared 100 percent disabled. He has three different types of arthritis, major back, leg and foot problems, and post traumatic stress disorder.In Nov. 2007 Connellis applied for temporary pay while waiting on a new determination about his injuries. That was almost a year ago and he is still waiting on that determination - and any temporary pay.Connellis does receive a monthly tax-free check for $429; that's for his 30 percent disability determination. He is taking classes at the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, and he gets additional VA money to pay for that.Connellis is unable to work, although he is trying to sell books online. His wife has a part-time job. They have a 7-year-old daughter. Their rent is $565 per month. They have additional expenses and a car payment. They use food stamps.Connellis long ago ran out of any extra money he had saved. He has been getting help from his parents and others.Connellis, 39, joined the Army a few years after the 9/11 attacks in New York, where he worked as a police officer for 17 years.Connellis received a three-day eviction notice, dated Thursday. [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/blogs/military_matters/2008/aug/20/fighting_for_benefit/' [2]: http://www2.ljworld.com/blogs/military_matters/2008/sep/02/bureaucratic_battle/

Comments

AdrienC5 2 years ago

The VA is nothing but drunks with sportscars and foreigners who have college degrees.

I was hit by a car, but not yet in uniform. At least they made me get a discharge by going out there, then discharging me after I was it twice on the sidewalk one month prior to service in 1999.. Now maybe my distant descendents will be able to get a pension because I was hit by a car before that war on the sidewalk on my way home from work by some kid out partying with his friends. Boy! He must be perfect eh? Bet he had foodstamps and I don't have my paramedic training. How may people died after I was hit and lawyers protected some punk with a foreign auto insurance carrier? Like I said, the VA enjoys their $1 drafts sucking their brain dry of precious fluid.

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pace 4 years, 8 months ago

How long should you be at war before it is honorable to get injured? Should all soldiers wait to get injured, maimed or die only after a certain date? How long should that be? Let us examine all these vets coming back claiming to be injured,maimed, or killed. i would prefer to keep the examination to the injury or death and the service Rather than include What kind of grades did they get in school, what kind of music they listened to on the way over, or if they were socialists that didn't understand that labor unions were just a front for Chinese opium dens.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 8 months ago

"Mr. Connellis, if I were a spineless coward would I put my name on this site?"

Plenty do. I think we all know that most decent people will not make it a face to face issue, and just let words pass in the end.

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disabledveterangvcptsd 4 years, 8 months ago

Let me guess arc angel, if you were my staff sgt than are you the one who was investigated for stealing missile parts or were you the one came up hot on a drug test. First of all you are defaming my character on here and I am a 50% disabled veteran and all of my claims including my PTSD have been investigated. If you are staff sgt than you know an LOD has to be supplied as well. You have no idea what I did before I came into the unit you were in,but I must warn you that you are in severe violation of the law

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weluvbowling 5 years, 2 months ago

And the truth comes out...hmmm...they say first impression/intuition is always right. I guess mine was! If what arc_angel74 says is true I hope you are a praying man! I believe there is a commandement in the Bible that says "Thou shalt not lie"... 'nuff said.

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arc_angel74 5 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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weluvbowling 5 years, 6 months ago

bennyoates: I google myself daily just for a good laugh!

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weluvbowling 5 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Connellis, if I were a spineless coward would I put my name on this site? Unlike the annonymous names on here?! My step father has agent orange, jungle rot and PTSD from active duty and has been fighting the "system" for MANY years. I guess he needs to take some lessons...If you are TRULY disabled, my apologies. And from here I will keep my mouth shut because I have VERY mixed emotions on this blog and I will keep them to myself from here on out!

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 6 months ago

wow! did it occur to you nimrods that perhaps one reason his wife doesn't work fulltime is because she is her husband's caregiver! no, of course it didn't. I've been a caregiver for my spouse, sometimes it was for multiple years! you try that sometime, it ain't easy. and benny, sure, attack the current administration, you're just speaking from ignorance. PTSD is being better addressed today than ever before by VA and current military medical resources. the trouble is, it still is short of personnel and other resources. it is better understood than ever before. but need more people, more meds, more assessments, more support. oh, and Clintonia was not good on the record of PTSD. PTSD is still tricky to identify until it is fully occupying a man or woman's mind. we can't predict who will get PTSD very well. PTSD is one of the most persistent and resistant mental disorders. often minor events, or internal mental events, trigger hallucinations. people can be dangerous to themselves and others. PTSD is caused by exposure to extreme situations far beyond normal experience. you can find PTSD even described in ancient greek literature. meds are not the only tool, and won't cure it by themselves. some people say PTSD is harder to treat than severe depression, ten times worse. unfortunately, VA still needs more people and more assessments. but even with 100% coverage, it will still miss some. oldy is right about SSI, initial refusal rates for obvious disabilities are a scandal. this is a little different in that diagnosing ptsd isn't like diagnosing MS.
Mr. Disabledvet...ptsd, please pm me if you wish to communicate directly. I have some understanding of PTSD, and I have only respect for men and women who wear our country's uniform.

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been_there 5 years, 6 months ago

Not very classy to attack the wife and maybe daughters (didn't get to see it before it was deleted) especially if all the facts are not known.

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disabledveterangvcptsd 5 years, 6 months ago

WeLuvbowling(TERRI IRELAN)------- Are you serious? I expect people to respond negatively, but you should have the facts first. It sound like it is personal with you. My wife and my daughters are my biggest supporters and are always there. They are the ones who sat at home wondering if I was ever coming home again. My wife has always worked. She takes care of our daughters,me and our home. She also works at an elementary school 25 hours per weekas a STRUCTURED ACTIVITY LEADER(ON HER FEET ALL DAY) Her hours were reduced from 37.5 hours to the current hours. My wife is an extremly ill person with a couple of diseases with one that will probably end her life abruptly. You are a repulsive SLOB. You do not have any facts. Also I could not get 30% DISABILITY PAY if it was not service connected and in the LINE OF DUTY. Again a LOD(line of Duty) report has to be filed on all injuries. I have a 2004 Pontiac Aztec and it is my only vehicle. I got this while I was in the Army. I am behind 2 payments. Also, I walk with a cane and I fall at least 6-8 times per week. I have more wound than you know of. I welcome you to drive by my apartment and even stop by and have a conversation with me. But I guess you won't do that because you are a SPINELESS COWARD. And 90% of my wifes pay goes towards her health insurance. I look forward to you stopping by

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solsken66 5 years, 6 months ago

As a veteran speaking, there are those who legitimately need assistance and those who don't. Trying to weed out the legite can be difficult. As many know, there are many cons who play the system to get freebies. Hopefully, those who actually need the help shall get the assistance they need.

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disabledveterangvcptsd 5 years, 6 months ago

Notwhatyouthink, usually I would not respond to people who are full of it so I do not fall into traps like yours. But I will take this chance. I was never a Housing Police Officer. My father who is a Highly Decorated NYC Housing Homicide Police Detective was employed by them. Also, the NYC Transit Police, NYC Housing Police and the NYPD all merged under Mayor Rudolph Guiliani and became one ,the New York City Police Department. Get your facts straight. My father moved out to Kansas and his health went down and I being the oldest son came to his aid. I became a Police Officer in Leavenworth,which I enjoyed very much, and I received over 12 commendations including the Kansas State Lifesaving award. I guess you did not have all of this information. Shall I continue, yes you said, ok. I then had to leave Leavenworth because my wife became pregnant over 40 yrs of age and was told she may lose the baby if she did not get constant bedrest. My father was doing much better and we went back to New York where all of our family helped us. Oh and since you say I am a screwup I was rehired ,on the phone, by my old department before I arrived back in New York. Either you are a person I arrested,fired or because I tried to organize a Union in Kansas, which I found out is a no-no here. Thank God we had a wonderful baby girl. I could not wait to come back to Kansas and I applied to several Police Departments back here in Kansas. I was hired by the Kansas Highway Patrol and by the Lawrence Police Department. I made a mistake and took a job I just did not like. Lawrence is a great place, but the job was not for me. But if I was such a screw up why did I beat over 12 applicants for the position of Chief of Police for Highlands. Because they saw that I was good. I took over as Chief and I fired 95% OF THE FORCE BECAUSE of CORRUPTION. The city attorney,the city board and alot of the citizens were right behind me. I stood for change and some people do not like that. A former Topeka K-9 officer who now trains dogs privately, the Brown County Sheriff and a couple of former Police Officers from Leavenworth helped me 24 hours per day to rid the town of corruption. We received several death threats and one of the city police cars were damaged. And guess what, I was in the Army for over 1 year. And yes I was wouned in combat and I will not take the time and violate my oath to tell you where it was. But one thing you need to know. An LOD(Line of Duty) report has to be filled out on all line of duty incidents. Also my PTSD had to be backed up over and over again and I had no problem telling what happened. The St.Joseph News media did a great job in reporting the story onthe corruption and I welcome people to go look at that news story. Notwhatyouthink just remember you have the right to say what you want because of brave soldiers, like myself. Oh, by the way did I fire you or arrest you. Or are you just jealous......

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jmgomets13 5 years, 6 months ago

Notwhatyouthink......it sounds like you have some issues?It sounds like you have a personal grudge.Defamation of character? I would definitely give this guy and his family the benefit of the doubt. If you know your cars it is not a brand new SUV. Maybe the wife can't work fulltime. It doesn't matter if he served his country here securing our borders or overseas in Iraq. You still are serving your country. Maybe Notwhatyouthink needs to read more CNN and know there is an all out war on our borders. Whta if,for argment sake, it was a new SUV, that is all they have!!!!!!Maybe it was a gift?used SUV?

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bennyoates 5 years, 6 months ago

First off, why is the wife only working part time? Get off your butt and work full time if things are tight! And if it is true that he was not injured in the line of duty why should the government be paying him anything for his time served? I work everyday with a bulging disc I am sure that there is something he can do with a herniated disc or have surgery. Not to mention, have any of you googled his name? There is a you tube video that shows him getting into a new SUV and driving away, if things are tight get rid of the new car!++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++First off, probably because the couple have a daughter to raise and because the man is taking college classes to improve his position.I'm inclined to give this family the benefit of the doubt until I have good reason to do otherwise.I won't even bother to address the rest of your blame-the-victim comments. Who are you to say what this man should or should not do just because you've googled him and looked at a YouTube video? In fact, you should go "google" yourself!!

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bennyoates 5 years, 6 months ago

Republicans are second to none when it comes to sending people off to war. Not so good at making sure they get a fair deal when they return home.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 6 months ago

Dad: "And, this has nothing to do with the current administration."With a service date of 2006, 'twould seem it has EVERYTHING to do with the current ad-mini-stration ( ... the war which never should have been ) .

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weluvbowling 5 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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been_there 5 years, 6 months ago

But there are other vets that are not recieving the help they deserve and the government does need to do something about the problem ASAP.

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been_there 5 years, 6 months ago

Interesting, maybe Paul Harvey needs to do "the rest of the story"

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Stacy Napier 5 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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jmgomets13 5 years, 6 months ago

I am a Proud American and I stand behind the military men and women. When I see a military person, I alwats Thank them for their service. However, I am mortified at the treatment Gary Connellis and his family are receiving from the Unites States Deptment of Veteran's Affairs. Shame on you, is this how you the gov't repays our servicemen and women?I am from Pa. In our local paper Thetimesheraldrecord.com, they are cutting the benefits of the blind veterans. instead of bailing out the 700 million dollar defecit to corporate America, try giving some of that money to Connelllis and all the other disabled servicemen and women, Uncle Sam(again, shame on you)

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disabledveterangvcptsd 5 years, 6 months ago

111 Riverview ave. apt.101Leavenworth, Kansas 66048I really appreciate what you want to do. I am very,very grateful. I would join the Army again to protect and serve the people of this great nation. Thank you so very much.

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gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 6 months ago

I assume, of course, that the kids who spent their time protesting the "elites" on Mass street will repurpose their energy to help this guy out? No?

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Alia Ahmed 5 years, 6 months ago

Here's Dennis Moore's website if you want to call or email him.http://moore.house.gov/contact/

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Alia Ahmed 5 years, 6 months ago

I also would like an address where I could send a contribution. I also plan to send the link to this story to my senators and representatives. This is shameful, indeed.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 6 months ago

Should this surprise us? Anyone who's applied for SSI will tell you that this is how people are treated. And, this has nothing to do with the current administration (we have plenty else to blame on his sorry behind). It's been like this for decades.

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smitty 5 years, 6 months ago

Please post information on where to send money.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 6 months ago

Though of little consolation, how appropriate that his Commander-in-Chief is about to be evicted, as well.

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The_Original_Bob 5 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Connellis should have been a CEO of an investment bank. The government would have taken care of him. This is pathetic.

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onrywmn 5 years, 6 months ago

Yankeevet,Thank you for serving our country. I agree completely with you! When is this country going to get our priorities straight and take care of our soldiers?? They should be receiving the best care and benefits this country has and they are not. I am so ashamed.

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willie_wildcat 5 years, 6 months ago

This is bullsh*t!!! This man got injured doing what his country asked him to do and this is the thanks he gets. Pathetic. Our vets cannot get in to VA hospitals for basic care, they cannot get the benefits they rightfully deserve, or any other incentive that the government "promised" them when they signed the dotted line. Yankeevet- You said it all! It is a national disgrace and we should all be ashamed.

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Rick Aldrich 5 years, 6 months ago

god bless this man and his family. sad they make soilders do unthinkable things. but they make a pissy effort to help there results. this is one of many many stories curtious of our U.S. government.

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yankeevet 5 years, 6 months ago

This is how this country treats its veterans while government officials and CEO's steal this country blind. A measley 429 a month is all this combat wounded soldier gets. This is a disgrace. They send us too foreign countries too fight their meaningless wars; wasting good soldiers and tax payers money. "Don't piss down my back and tell me its raining Senator"!!!Vietnam Veteran 69-70

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