Veteran’s Wife Never Expected This When Her Husband Died

Popular Facebook page Love What Matters recently shared a heartbreaking story about a veteran’s wife who was denied VA benefits after her husband passed away. Thankfully, another veteran, who had met her husband years earlier, saw her struggle and decided to take a stand.

Read their post below.

Love What Matters

As told by Wendell, a U.S. military and Vietnam veteran, who grew up on a small farm in a rural northwest Minnesota community, close to the Red Lake Nation.

“It was six months after Deland passed away that Angie and their daughters found their way to the doorstep of our farm, homeless and hungry.

I had met Deland several years before at a veteran’s meeting for those suffering from PTSD. We had both served our country in Vietnam. When Deland passed away, he was receiving a Veteran Administration pension because of the PTSD and a heart condition, which is linked to Agent Orange. He wanted a traditional Ojibwa burial, which meant no autopsies. Little did Angie know, this would leave her ineligible to receive widow benefits because they couldn’t prove his heart condition was responsible for his death.

Barely able to afford rent, Angie and her daughters ended up in a crumbling building just steps away from the homeless shelter. I remember coming by to visit one winter and was awestruck to see six men sitting at the small kitchen table. Angie could see I was trying to figure out what was going on and simply said ‘they are from the homeless shelter. They lock the doors during the day and have nowhere to go.’ The six men were sipping from steaming mugs of coffee that she had made for each of them.

In that moment, something inside me changed. Here was a woman who literally had almost nothing – just the clothes on her back and a small bit of food – yet she shared what she had with other people in need. I was amazed by her. It was all about helping others.

Those six cups of coffee spurred me into action and I went to the Board of Veterans Appeals to get the process started. The request was expedited because of Angie’s dire situation. Finally, we received the news that the claim had been approved. But not only approved, it was retroactive, which meant Angie would receive a lump sum for the benefits she lost during the years her claim had been denied.

I was thrilled to deliver the news, only to learn Angie was missing. As fate would have it, that afternoon her daughter Pam reached out to me. Angie had been evicted yet again and she and Pam were walking to another homeless shelter. Too tired to carry on, she sat in a ditch on the edge of town. This is where I found her. This would also be the last day Angie would have nowhere to go.

Today, five years later, Angie was able to purchase a home for her and her daughters.

Fifteen years ago, Angie came to me for help. Helping others creates a bond that is difficult for some people to understand. My life would not be the same had I not helped and had I not seen Angie’s selfless giving, even in the most dire of circumstances.”


It’s a great ending to a sad story, but it should have never gotten to that point int he first place.

Our Veteran’s deserve better.