A pair of Greene County deputies were honored by the Greene County Commission for going above and beyond for a World War II veteran who was scheduled to be evicted from his home.
Deputy Jason Winston arrived at the home of a 93-year-old whose landlord had gone to court to have him evicted. Deputy Winston tried explaining the situation to the man but realized that he was having trouble understanding the situation.
“When I went to post the initial paperwork to start the eviction process, I could tell by his reaction to my reading paperwork that was something wasn’t quite right,” Deputy Winston told OI. “He seemed all right but he made statements you don’t normally make to law enforcement. At that point, I was more concerned about his health and his safety.”
Deputy Winston then brought Corporal Jason Humphrey to join him at the location to officially serve the papers. Together the Deputies discovered the man was a World War II veteran whose wife had passed on and he had no children left alive to care for him. The deputies found a niece who relayed the man’s mental health challenges and informed them she would not be able to care for him.
The deputies took the man to the hospital for treatment because was clearly in need of medical attention. When they arrived at the hospital, they were told there were no beds available and there would be at least a two hour wait before anyone could see the man.
The deputies stayed with the man during the wait and used that time to contact several people associated with the military and the Veteran’s Administration to try and find the man’s military record. The VA said they could find no record and the man’s niece said she had no paperwork on it either to prove his service.
The man was hospitalized for several days and Deputies Winston and Humphrey decided to continue to search for a record that would prove the man was a World War II veteran and entitled to VA services.
“We were having trouble finding his discharge papers because we were looking for the form they use today, the DD214,” Corporal Humphrey told OI. “We discovered that at the end of World War II they didn’t have the DD214.”
The deputies finally tracked down an archive that contained the man’s separation and discharge paperwork. Once they had found those documents, the Veteran’s Administration then stepped in to care for the man and make sure he has all the assistance he needs to live.
“It’s 2019 and you don’t run into many World War II veterans who are still alive,” Deputy Winston told OI. “So just the fact that he served our country the way he did, that alone deserves above and beyond treatment as far as Corporal Humphries and I were concerned.”
“He just kind of fell through the cracks,” Deputy Winston said in regards to the man’s mental health issues. “He didn’t get the help he needed years ago. It’s unfortunate that his house was foreclosed on but it’s kind of a blessing because now he can get all the help he needs. I’m thankful I was able to help him get the help that he needed.”
Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott praised his deputies in a statement to OI.
“In this instance the deputies went above and beyond by researching and not only contacting the Veterans Administration, but kept looking when they stated they had no information on the gentleman’s service history,” Arnott said. ”Both deputies dug deeper and found the information needed for the Veterans Administration to give him the proper care that our veterans deserve. I am proud of both deputies were going above and beyond and helping this veteran.”