Number of Valley veterans affected by homemaker program suspension has doubled

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Earlier this month, we told you 140 veterans were being put on a wait list for homemaker services through the VA. Now, we have learned that number has doubled.

[RELATED: 140 Valley veterans lose home care services, put on wait list]

After our first story aired, we got a call about Jack Clark, a 94-year-old World War II veteran, who was told he is home care services would also be suspended.

"I was assigned to an outfit in the island of Guam," Clark said. Clark served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946.

"I was proud that I was able to serve," Clark said.

[RELATED: New deal reached to fix VA budget crisis after vets protest]

"We adopted each other 30 years ago," said Jim Fogerty. He said Clark is sort of like his adopted uncle. He said he's been helping Jack navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

"I have spent hours and hours just on this one issue, just to make sure his funding is not held up," Fogerty said.

While his nursing services are unaffected, Clark was told he will no longer see the twice-weekly visits from the VA's "Homemaker and Home Health Aid Care Program."

"They're there to help wash my back feet and something I can't really do well," Clark said.

[SPECIAL SECTION: VA Scandal]

"It's also camaraderie, in addition to those basic functions when I'm not here," Fogerty said. "They can bring him something to eat or drink."

The VA said they were spending more in this program than expected, so they suspended it. Originally, we were told 140 Valley veterans were being put on a wait list. Now., we've learned that number is 288.

Paul Coupaud, a spokesman for the Phoenix VA, said they couldn't estimate how many more will be affected, or how or when the situation will be resolved.

"We continue to work with VA leadership and make our situation known," Coupaud said. 

He added they are awaiting direction on how this will pan out over the coming months. 

"I guess there's going to be a period of real angst for families in the Valley when it comes to care," Fogerty said.

A spending package could revive the program. To read more, click on the link below.

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Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

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Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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