Image source: GoFundMe
The last living Pearl Harbor Survivor in Philadelphia was denied hearing aids because of a paperwork snafu at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The hearing aids were sitting on the table in front of Alexander Horanzy, 94, when he was told the VA would not pay for them. Previously, Horanzy had been told he was approved for hearing aids and even was tested and fitted for them.
“So I drove him up there and they wouldn’t give them to him,” Horanzy’s granddaughter, Joyce Fiore, told KYW News Radio. “They said his medical records were lost in a fire. They had them right there, so he was denied.”
Said Horanzy, “I was so darn mad I couldn’t even talk. My granddaughter was there with me, so we just walked out.”
Horanzy almost died of malaria 70 years ago while fighting on New Guinea in World War II, the Great Generation Foundation reported. Before that, he had witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as a young Army private.
Despite that service, Horanzy was told he was ineligible for hearing aids because the Department of Veteran Affairs was unable to locate his paperwork.
Horanzy needs the aids to get through his day. He was unable to hear the speeches and presentations at one of the final Pearl Harbor Veterans’ reunions in December 2016.
“He can’t talk on the phone much and [hear] the TV,” Fiore said. “It’s very hard for him.”
The Greatest Generation Foundation has set up a Go Fund Me Page to pay for the aids. The page had collected $7,868 as of April 27. That means Horanzy will get the hearing aids, which cost $6,500. The website says he was denied hearing ads by the VA because of “lost medical records that don’t support his past medical history
There are a few thousand surviving Pearl Harbor veterans.
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