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Veterans Administration Back Charges Triple Amputee Brian Kolfage Thousands of Dollars

November 8, 2013
By: John DeMayo 

Senior Airman, Brian Kolfage Jr.

Senior Airman, Brian Kolfage Jr.

On  September 11, 2004, while serving his second deployment in support of Operation  Iraqi Freedom, Brian Kolfage lost both his legs and an arm when a 107 mm rocket  exploded three feet from the Airman, throwing him into a wall of sandbags.  Brian  miraculously survived the blast and after eleven months at Walter Reed  Medical  Center, he returned to serve in the Air Force at Davis Monthan AFB in  Tucson,  Arizona. Kolfage is no longer on active duty and receives monthly VA  benefits  compensation for the wounds he received serving our country.


Grave injuries: He was badly wounded in the 2004 attack and had more than a dozen surgeries in the months after

Grave injuries: He was badly wounded in the 2004  attack and had more than a dozen surgeries in the months after

A few months back, Kolfage—who once served on former Congresswoman Gabriel  Gifford’s Veterans Advisory Committee and is an outspoken critic of the Obama  Administration—received  notification dated September 12, 2013 that his file had been pulled and  investigated by the VA. After an Arizona background check, the VA claimed that  Brian was overpaid, each month, for several years. According to the VA, Brian’s  indebtedness—for this alleged overpayment of $4825.00–would require monthly  payments of $105 to be taken out of his benefits account until the debt was  satisfied.

The VA justification for the back charge stemmed from Arizona court  records—the VA claimed—showing Brian was not married and not entitled to  the  full amount of benefits he had been receiving.

Wedding bells: Kolfage married Ashley Goetz in 2011, saying that it was a 'dream come true'

Wedding bells: Kolfage married Ashley Goetz in 2011,  saying that it was a ‘dream come true’

Since Brian was in fact remarried, he provided the necessary legal  documentation to the VA and was told that an error had been made and the  problem  would be cleared up and no indebtedness existed. Moreover, the Veterans  Administration said there would be no back charge against his benefits. To  quote  Brian:  “They even sent me a document last month [September] saying  everything  was reviewed, updated and good to go.”

On October 29, 2013, Kolfage received  a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Debt Management Center,  and Operations Division Chief explaining that his indebtedness balance had been  reduced by a $105.00  through a reduction of his monthly benefits.

After several frustrating attempts to contact the VA through the 1-800 number  provided in the VA Debt Management Center correspondence, Brian has yet to hear  back from anyone about the ongoing reductions in his monthly benefits. After  losing an arm and two legs in service to his country, it appears that his  government may require Brian to offer his remaining arm to resolve their error.

In my conversations with Brian, one thing is abundantly clear. This man is an  unselfish Patriot. Kolfage is not as angry as he is frustrated. His first  concerns are for his fellow veterans struggling with an unproductive Veterans  Administration, VA backlogs and a system that adds unnecessary stress to the  lives of men—he served with—who already struggle with monstrous stresses  related to recovery and re-assimilation back into life after combat. They  should  not have to fight their government for the help the need and are owed.

He is also more concerned about you, then himself. His courage is  unimaginable.

Against all odds: Brian Kolfage lost his right arm and both legs in a 2004 attack (and is seen here receiving an award after the attack) but has started a new life, adapting to his limitations

Against all odds: Brian Kolfage lost his right arm  and both legs in a 2004 attack (and is seen here receiving an award after the  attack) but has started a new life, adapting to his limitations

Given  his experience with government-administered healthcare, Airman Brian Kolfage is  worried about the long-term effects on each and every one of his fellow  Americans who will now be forced to look toward their government for  Healthcare.  Brian feels, and I paraphrase, that Obamacare much like the  Veterans  Administration is not capable of handling the healthcare needs of an  entire  nation. He is worried that Americans will be forced to argue with the  Department  of Health and Human Services and live with IRS enforced back charges  and fines  for unconfirmed allegations of misrepresentation similar to what he  is dealing  with at the VA.


Personally, I cannot help but wonder if Brian Kolfage’s mysterious file  re-evaluation and indebtedness determination was another Obama retribution  designed to silence yet another critic. Nowhere in any of the correspondence  sent to Kolfage has the VA offered an explanation for their decision to do a  random background check on a wounded warrior who has been rebuilding his life.  Given his service to our nation, Brian’s life must be well documented at the  Department of Defense. So why all the concern now?

For me, this man does not owe a damn thing to anyone. He already gave more  than enough. We should be kissing his ass every day, not tormenting him with  useless letters and requests for follow up. This is a disgrace. Of all people,  why Brian Kolfage?

I would think that the government could find a considerable amount of money  to handle any alleged overpayments to our veterans through an audit of  President  Obama’s vacation travel expenses or the operations at his  sanctimonious 501 ©  (3) tax exempt social welfare group, “Organizing for  Action.”

All of this for one hundred and five dollars. Someone needs to be fired.

Note: The VA national benefits case backlog exceeds 750,000. In my state  Texas, many veterans wait 365 days for a case determination. In some states,  the  wait can be as long as 500 days.

UPDATE:  Many who have read Brian’s story have emailed us asking how you can  help Brian financially.  Brian has told us he is grateful for the sentiment,  but  is pretty much taken care of.  However, Brian fears there are other  veterans who  are not as privileged as him financially that this is happening  to, and so he  wants to get the word out that if this happens to those who are  not taken care  of as he is, that something like this could be devastating to  them.


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