BOSTON, MA (WWBT) - A Boston man who served two combat tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan committed suicide after years of suffering from PTSD. Then the VA asked for his last disability check back.
The story of Corporal Elias Reyes Jr. led the Boston Globe to call for the VA to apologize to the Marine veteran's family.
An IED left Corporal Reyes with a traumatic brain injury, according to the report, though he still managed to graduate UCLA with a 3.8 GPA and wanted to go to medical school. He received care at the VA, but his sister says it only came after long waits and red tape.
Less than a month after Reyes' suicide, his sisters received the letter from the VA asking them to return his final payment of $400.93 a month because he was no longer eligible for disability benefits.
"I can't even tell you how that makes me feel, what they're doing to his family," Reyes' sister, Jelani Lewis, told columnist Kevin Cullen. "Elias served his country. But it didn't serve him."