Wife of deceased vet wants answers - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Wife of deceased vet wants answers

Jaime says all her husband was trying to do was get help. (Photo source: WLOX) Jaime says all her husband was trying to do was get help. (Photo source: WLOX)

The dried out flower arrangements from Hank Lee's funeral sit in the den of the home he and his wife shared with their three kids.

The 9-month-old twins and 2 year old often watch their mother cry. It doesn't make sense, Jaime Lee Hasted says. Nothing makes sense.

Hank Lee died on March 4 in a Boston Veterans Affairs Psychiatric Unit, where he spent a month waiting on treatment for severe post traumatic stress disorder. 

"I get a phone call from the VA doctor saying that my husband has been found code blue an unresponsive," said Jamie. "Then at 4:55 I get another phone call saying that my husband, there's no bringing him back. That he's gone."

Hank served in Afghanistan and Iraq more than 10 years ago. Because of his severe PTSD, he was receiving 100 percent disability from the military.

But with the loss of her husband, Jaime lost his benefits and her job as his caretaker.

"Sometimes I sit here and think it's like it would have been safer if I just would have dealt with it by myself like I have been doing for so many years," said Jaime. "We finally ask for help and instead of getting help, he ends up passing away. And the VA gives me no answers whatsoever.

WLOX News Now reached out to Biloxi Veterans Affairs to find out what a survivor like Hasted would normally do in a case like this.

"We're a healthcare system but, I would like to speak for all of VA, the benefits for like caregiver support...the benefits don't immediately stop," said VA representative Mary Kay Gominger. 

Hasted says she's already received her husband's last check. She won't know if she's eligible for benefits until they can determine if it was a service connected death or not.

"So not only is my husband gone, I don't know how I'm supposed to take care of his kids and take care of everything that he worked so hard to get for us to do," said Jaime. "All he wanted to do was get help for PTSD."

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