HARRY Bulletin Board
Updated Thru: 1/24/11
How Can HARRY
The Post–9/11 GI Bill VA
is now accepting applications for the Post–9/11 GI Bill benefit
that is effective August 1, 2009. Read more
Priority Group 8 Enrollment Relaxation Changes
VA eligibility rules changed on June 15, 2009, making it easier for more Veterans to enroll in VA’s health care system.
Instead of ordering blood work or a colonoscopy or even a simple X-ray, VA doctors kept pushing Smith out the door with prescriptions for painkillers and antibiotics.
Fed up with her brother's treatment, Shabazz took Smith to Forsyth Med on Aug. 13, 2006.
Three days later, he underwent surgery for a massive tumor in his colon.
If you thought that the VA would immediately do the right thing and cover all of his medical bills, you would be wrong. Shabazz had to write many letters, sift through a mountain of paperwork, and call members of Congress before officials approved his claim for disability compensation.
"I've come to the conclusion that they were just waiting for Harry to meet his demise so they don't have to pay," Shabazz said in December 2007.
Rest in peace
The first message from Shabazz about Harry's death came a week or 10 days later. After transcribing her words, I called to express condolences.
She talked for a few minutes about the service at home in Philadelphia, and promised to send a copy of the program.
It arrived in a manila envelope along with photos from the graveside service. As befitting his status as an honorably discharged Marine, Smith's funeral was attended by younger Marines in dress blues who saluted him and smartly folded the flag that draped his coffin.