Standing up for the VABy Ernestine Chasing Hawk
Native Sun News Today Staff Writer
nativesunnews.today RAPID CITY – Dr. Allen Ross “cruised” into the Native Sun News Today’s office last week sporting his blue electric scooter, that has given the septuagenarian greater mobility around the community. As he demonstrated his expert ability to maneuver his scooter in and out of his SUV without a glitch Ross stated, “The V.A. takes care of me, so I take care of them.” Ross could make this claim because he has been a staunch supporter of organizations that assist veterans and others with disabilities for many years. Among the organizations he lends his monetary donations to include: Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) and the American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA). In recognition of Ross’s support, Dr. William Scott Magill, Executive Director of Veterans in Defense of Liberty honored him as 2018’s Veteran Supporter of the Year. Ross served in the military from 1962-1965, first with the 82nd Airborne Division stateside, then with the 505 Paratrooper Brigade attached to the 8th Airborne Division in Greece. In 1962, while on NATO exercises in Greece, Ross injured his back. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Native, who grew up on the reservation with the mentality, “We don’t whine and we don’t cry,” said he thought it was only a sprain and continued life as usual in the military.
At any rate his back continued to bother him. So in the early 70’s, while living in Ft. Wingate, New Mexico, Ross had an x-ray taken at the Indian Health Service facility, and found he had a broken back. “When I went in for help but there was no record of my injury during NATO exercises,” he said so the VA Veterans Benefits Administration denied his initial claim. His cousin Harlan Whipple encouraged to him to contact individuals who knew about his back injury while stationed in Greece and ask them to write letters that substantiated his claim. The military denied his claim again stating they didn’t know the people who wrote the letters but Ross continued his efforts to seek compensation. His cousin Harlen encouraged him to retain the services of an attorney to help make his case. However it would take VA Veterans Benefits Administration until 2004 to finally make the determination that Ross was 20 percent disabled due to a service related injury and to compensate him.
Contact Ernestine Chasing Hawk at email@example.com Copyright permission Native Sun News Today
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