Butler County vet gets health benefits after 6½-year effort

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Butler County vet gets health benefits after 6½-year effort

Dayton Daily News – COLUMBUS — It took six-and-a-half years, but Persian Gulf War veteran James Fackey of Butler County, with help from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, finally qualified for the benefits due him because of a combat-related lower back injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s a comedy of errors that’s not funny,” Brown said Monday, April 26.

He introduced Fackey, an Army veteran from Ross Twp., before the start of Attorney General Richard Cordray’s second annual Ohio Military and Veterans Summit in Columbus.

The goal of the summit was to highlight the difficulties veterans sometimes have in getting the benefits due them.

Fackey, 46, said he hurt his back after falling off a truck while in combat and developed PTSD from serving in the 1990-91 conflict.

He didn’t apply for benefits until about 2004 and had difficulty pulling together the required documentation.

“You don’t want to accept something for nothing,” he said, explaining the reluctance some veterans have in seeking help.

He twice appealed a rejection of benefits. Fackey said his case seemed to be going nowhere when he contacted Brown’s office about eight months ago.

As a result of the senator’s intervention, Fackey said he recently received a check for about $25,000 for back benefits and now is receiving $500 in monthly benefits.

In a related development, Bill Hartnett, director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, said the first Ohio veterans’ bonuses resulting from voters’ approval of a bond issue last year could begin arriving as early as August for some of the estimated 200,000 veterans and families who qualify.

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