Vietnam veteran, who lost eye sight and leg, says he’s not getting the help he needs

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PORTAGE, Mich.-- A veteran who has lost 100% of his eye sight, and now his leg due to complications from serving our country says he isn't getting the help he needs to be able to do the simplest of things like getting out of bed, or getting into the shower.

“Blind, amputated, I don't care. We have to keep going,” said Scott Randolph, a Vietnam War veteran.

He was a co-pilot on a helicopter gunship in the Vietnam War. Now, he's desperate for a chance to live a normal life, but he can't do that without some help.

Imagine not being able to move from one room to another, or be able to get in your own shower. Scott Randolph from Kalamazoo County has paid a steep price for serving our country, losing his eyesight and now his leg.             While he's proud to have served, he and his wife say they definitely aren't getting the assistance they need after what happened to him.

“It hurts the inner most part of my soul,” said Randolph.

Randolph isn't talking about the hurt of his recent heart attack that has him bed ridden in the hospital, or that he will no longer see again, or when he found out he had to have his leg amputated. He’s talking about the pain he feels that his wife of 18 months has to take care of him full time.

“We were engaged one week when he found out he was going to have his leg amputated, and he gave me the opportunity to not marry him, and I told him at the time, ‘honey, I am not marrying you for your body parts, I’m marrying you for your heart’.”

Darlene meant every word of "to death do we part.”

“He has Agent Orange due to Vietnam and he is 100 percent blind, he has lost his leg because of diabetes and Agent Orange,” said Darlene.

Sometimes physically taking care of her 350 lb and 6 foot 4 husband is impossible.

“Well if he falls on the floor I have to call the fire department or the ambulance to come pick him up. It takes three or four people to pick up this man,” she said.

A burden Scott hates to put on the person he loves most.

“It kills the living daylights out of me. It really hurts the daylights out of my soul,” said Randolph.

She says it’s hard to see a man who fought for our country using all of his mobility and skills, unable to accomplish every day functions that most take for granted. Scott says it’s difficult for him to get from room to room, go to the bathroom, get in the shower, and back out of tight spaces. The hallways are too narrow for his wheelchair, and even his shower isn’t accessible.

What is most scary is it’s a safety hazard. Darlene says escaping a fire is almost impossible if he was alone. Scott recently had a heart attack, and the time it took to get him in the wheel chair and out the door could have cost him his life.

Darlene and Scott say the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs gave him money when he lost his eye sight in 2001. At that time he was mobile, so he purchased a walk in shower. Now with his leg amputated, they need more upgrades and say the VA refuses to help. The VA says they have 1500 they can use toward it, but Darlene says that won’t get them much.

“In the past 18 months I bet we got 9 or 10 denial letters. We’ve gone to Detroit. We’ve gone to Upton’s office. We’ve gone to the VA here in Battle Creek. We've had letters sent to Washington D.C., but we've gotten absolutely nowhere with it,” said Darlene.

Although the war took a lot from Scott, he doesn't look back with regret.

“I refuse to blame god, and I refuse to blame my service. I refuse to. No matter what the outcome on this. Would I like to get it squared away? Boy, you better believe it,” said Scott.

While Darlene and Scott are frustrated by their own situation, they say most of all; they want answers for others who are facing the same struggles.

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9 comments

  • Steve Johnson

    If Scott Randolph’s medical problems were “due to complications from serving our country” as the article states, the VA would certainly take great care of him. But his claims are bogus. You need to educate yourself on how the VA medical system operates. There are over 20 million US veterans. To provide all of them with lifetime care would cost hundreds of billions of dollars each year. I’m an Air Force vet from the Vietnam era and have NEVER been to a VA hospital, and I don’t expect any help because I have no service-connected health issues. And neither does Randolph.

    • Pamela

      As a wife of a service disabled vet, I think you are throwing a wide net of not knowing what you are talking about. You don’t know this man and by your own admission you do not use the VA services. Therefore you have no idea how much of a tangled mess it is.

      • Steve Johnson

        VA hospitals get higher satisfaction ratings from their users than civilian hospitals. I used to regularly transport a Korean War vet to the Saginaw VA. I was impressed with the facility and he was very pleased with his care. No system is perfect. And Randolph obviously is being turned away because his disability is NOT service-connected!

  • ssgbestwife

    it is not the responsibility of the va to retro fit your home! we are a military family and thank you for your service but if your home aint working it is time to move and the $1500.00 should cover that move god bless

  • armywife

    i’m guessing type 2 diabeties brought on by over weight continued poor diet resulting in loss of eye sight and leg sorry but these are self inflicted problems although im simpithetic to your plight the responsiblity for your medical issues is and has been yours, choices you made have cost you this life not the VA stop blamming them and man up you did this to yourself. just as a crack head chooses to smokes a pipe you choise to shovle with a spoon sorry if sounds harsh but the world owes you nothing

  • Noreen P Porter

    Yes, he is over weight, but as some of you bash him and blame him for his own illness….I can vouch many times the meds they put you on cause tremendous weight gain….You should be ashamed of yourselves….Where is your compassion..as an old saying goes….This for the grace of God, could be me…. BTW, the VA can make handicap adjustments to the home and they do….A walk in tub, not likely…

  • shanda tudor

    My name is shanda I have a problem . My mom is around 70 years old . She adopted me when I was 5 months old, on Dec. 7,1987 . So we been living an the same aptment.And so I have cerebral palsy.
    So mom wants a small house that is equmented for her and I . She also a single parent. She also has a lot medical bills to pay. We need help