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Delays from VA could cause veteran's widow to lose her home

Posted at 7:19 AM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 22:40:16-04

Even as the widow of a veteran still mourns his passing, she faces another devastating loss. One that could change her life forever.

A result of the Veteran’s Administration experiencing delays in providing services due to the pandemic like so many federal agencies.

On a mantle, over a modest fireplace, rests an American flag, folded 13 times.

Flanked by a tiny box, holding three shells, from the 21-gun salute, heard just before the love of Terri Turner’s life, was laid to rest.

"I've got my husband's flag, I have that, I have his wedding rings, I have his cell phone with a picture of him and me on it. it's hard," Terri says.

As she wipes away a tear, Terri fears those memories she treasures beyond measure, could be wiped away, as well.

All as she waits for the Veteran's Administration to come through with the hundreds of dollars of monthly spousal and survivor's benefits, to which she's entitled, she says, benefits she deserves.

"I think the VA is doing me wrong, just like they're doing other veterans wrong."

Her husband, William LeRoy Turner, Jr, passed away a handful of days before last Christmas.

Ever since, Terri's tried to get that desperately needed financial help from the VA.

"I keep trying to get a hold of somebody, and nobody answers the telephone, so I don't know where things stand."

So Terri asked the Problem Solvers for help. We were able to get her in touch with a VA representative who helped her fill out the necessary paperwork. Certainly, a step in the right direction. But now, she finds herself waiting even more. Precious time passes, she says, as time runs out, for her hopes of staying in her home, their home.

"Well, I'm getting ready to lose my house, because I haven't heard anything from the VA."

She has just enough money, from her fading savings, Terri says, to live here one more month.

As the deadline nears, sorrow floods her soul, she says, for her family, for her grandchildren, who loved their papa, oh so very much.

"It's sad because this is the only place my grandkids have ever known, they've always come here to see me and my husband, and if I lose this place, those memories are gone."

Humble as it may be, the home has been in her late husband's family, for generations.

"It's going to hurt, it's going to hurt a lot."

And it will haunt too, Terri fears.

All those memories, that live in their home.

Maybe a picture here, Terri says, a special moment over there.

Little "what nots" as she calls them.

"Keep those memories close to you, because those are the only memories, you're going to have left."

As her failing health allows, she finds herself packing the memories, those she shouldn't have to pack, Terri says.

All the while, her weak heart harkens back to her husband, and other veterans.

"They fought for this country, so we could have a place to call home."

For now, she prays and hopes for a last-minute miracle, a reprieve that would keep her in their home, alongside her husband's memories and his American flag folded those 13 times.

See the FULL story tonight at 10 p.m. on 2 News Oklahoma.

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