Veteran Amputee Forced to Prove He's Still Legless … Every Year

Veterans Benefits
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Travis K. Mendoza

In case you lost all hope in the Department of Veterans Affairs in the United States, just know it could be much worse. Take Canada for example.


Despite the fact that people have not evolved to grow new limbs in place of lost ones, a legless, Canadian master corporal named Paul Franklin must provide adequate proof of his status to his country’s VA annually.

“It’s been 10 years and they still haven’t figured out I’m an amputee,” according to Franklin. “And unfortunately for me, I have to prove that I still have no legs, every year.”

Franklin, who lost both legs below the knee to a suicide bomb in Afghanistan in 2006, is required to inform the Canadian government that his legs are still missing, so that he can qualify for home care services and income assistance from the Canadian VA.

“Every year, there are annual assessments that are done through Manulife, which is the insurance agency that we use, and through Veterans Affairs that you actually prove your condition,” Franklin told CTV News in February.

The issue is one of many reasons the Canadian VA, which relies heavily on a system of complex paperwork, needs to be reformed, according to Franklin.

“It's pretty crazy and it's idiotic. It's degrading to my service,” he added.

He said that his wheelchair has been taken away not once, but twice because of confusion about documentation and which government agency was required to cover his bill.

So the next time the U.S. VA gives you a hard time with your claim, just remember that you could be living in Canada.

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DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.

Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"

Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House prior to departure that he planned to meet the families, a duty which he said "might be the toughest thing I have to do as president."

He was greeted by military staff at Dover Air Force Base after a short flight from Joint Base Andrews, but did not speak to reporters before entering his motorcade.

Flanked by military officials, Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan filed up a ramp leading onto a military transport aircraft, where a prayer was given to honor the memory of Scott Wirtz, a civilian Department of Defense employee from St. Louis.

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Trump filed down the plank and saluted while six service members clad in fatigues and white gloves carried an American flag-draped casket carrying Wirtz to a waiting gray van.

The Dover base is a traditional hub for returning the remains of American troops abroad.

The United States believes the attack that killed the Americans was the work of Islamic State militants.

Trump announced last month that he planned to speedily withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, but has since said it does not need to go quickly as he tries to ensure safety of Kurdish allies in northern Syria who are at risk of attack from neighboring Turkey.

Trump told reporters on Saturday that his Syria policy has made progress but that some work remained in destroying Islamic State targets. He defended his plans for a withdrawal.

"It's moving along very well, but when I took over it was a total mess. But you do have to ask yourself, we're killing ISIS for Russia, for Iran, for Syria, for Iraq, for a lot of other places. At some point you want to bring our people back home," he said.

In addition to Wirtz, those who died during the Wednesday attack in Manbij, Syria, were Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon Kent, 35, identified as being from upstate New York, the Department of Defense said in a statement.

The Pentagon did not identify the fourth person killed, a contractor working for a private company. U.S. media identified her as Ghadir Taher, a 27-year-old employee of defense contractor Valiant Integrated Services.

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Writing by Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

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