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Latest News

Iraq Veteran finds out VA has declared her dead

Iraq Vet Declared Dead


ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — A Candler Veteran who was trying to get medical treatment through Veterans Affairs found out the agency has declared her dead.

"I said, 'I look pretty well preserved for being dead for 26 years,'" Judith Herren, an Iraq War Veteran, said.

Herren said the problem started back in November when she decided to consider getting treatment at Charles George Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Asheville.

"They couldn't process anything because I was listed as ‘deceased’ in September of 1991," Herren said.

Herren served in the military for eight years -- four in the Army and four in the National Guard, where she found herself in Iraq.

"We were the first units in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and we really didn’t know what to expect," Herren said.

What she also didn’t expect is having to prove she was alive when she came back.

"I finally got listed as ‘non-deceased’ back in April of this year," Herren said.

But then another problem came up.

"It took another three months to get my ID card,” Herren said. “Because I was listed as ‘deceased’ on that system, too."

Which leads us to now, where Herren said she wasn't able to renew her 12 daily prescriptions because she was also listed as "deceased" on that system.

"It shouldn't have happened the first time, much less three times," Herren said.

Herren said she is thankful for all the help she’s received from Charles George VAMC employees.

This is a statement sent to News 13 by Armenthis Lester, Public Affairs Officer at Charles George VAMC, regarding Herren's case:

"The issue Ms. Herrin is having originated with the Health and Eligibility Center in Atlanta, GA. This is a national office separate from Charles George VA Medical Center. However, our administrative office staff worked with the Health and Eligibility Center to assist this Veteran, and as of Monday, August 27, 2018, her issue is resolved. We honor Ms. Herrin's service to this country and our desire is for Veterans to get the care they need, when they need it."

News 13 also reached out to the Health and Eligibility Center with the VA to find out what initially led to the problem. We're still waiting to hear back.


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