3OYS helps Iraq vet get benefits

Posted: Updated:
By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PHOENIX -- A happy update to a Valley veteran Gary Harper told us about last week.

Last week, Patrick Franks was in the dumps. After all, the Iraq war vet has been waiting for about a year now to hear back from the V.A. on his benefits but after 3 On Your Side got involved, things finally kicked in.

"I'm feeling a lot better now," he said.

Franks said he's relieved, but that wasn't the case when he was profiled in our first 3 On Your Side report.

"The problem is the government is just not wanting to invest back in the veterans," he said. "We can do our time with them, but then they forget about us."

Franks was frustrated with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He's currently receiving a small amount of disability but because his medical conditions have worsened, he filed to increase the amount. But after providing all of his medical documentation nearly a year ago, he says the V.A. won't make a decision.

"With all my documentation that I have, I'm entitled to it," Franks said. "I mean because everything is documented."

3 On Your Side got involved and when we did, the V.A. claimed Franks failed to provide specific paperwork, but when they received it they would expedite his case.

Franks said he never knew anything about missing documents, but when he gave it to the agency he finally heard the news he's been waiting for.

"We got a decision yesterday in the mail from the Department of Veteran Affairs," he said.

Franks said he was ecstatic to hear his benefits had been increased by 50 percent and couldn't believe it happened so fast after 3 On Your Side got involved.

"I've been working on it for a year and a half and in a matter of a week I got an outcome when I got 3 On Your Side to help me," he said.

Franks said the V.A.'s approval couldn't have come at a better time.

Not only has the V.A. approved the increase for Franks, but they're also paying him backpay for the entire year he's been waiting to hear from them.

So thank you to the V.A. for making things right and thank you to Franks for his service.