VA Informs Vietnam Vet That He's Dead

This isn't Charles Covell's first experience with a bureaucratic mistake
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 15, 2018 8:04 AM CDT
VA Informs Vietnam Vet That He's Dead
The Veterans Affairs Department in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Federal officials have discovered a North Carolina veteran isn't dead yet. The Fayetteville Observer reported that 81-year-old Charles Covell of Fayetteville was surprised to learn that he had been declared dead by the Veterans Affairs Department last month. Covell's wife realized something was wrong when a monthly disabilities payment was not deposited in their account, and the couple then learned that a death certificate for a Charles Covell was filed in January. A spokeswoman from US Rep. Richard Hudson's office said Tuesday the VA has fixed the mistake, per the AP.

Covell spent 12 years in the Army, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg. The Observer notes that this is not the first time Covell has been the victim of a red-tape gaffe over his service. The military tried to honor him for 1965 heroics on the battlefield in Vietnam, but the paperwork got lost for more than 40 years. Covell finally received his Bronze Star Medal for Valor in 2006.

(Read more Department of Veterans Affairs stories.)

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