PORTAGE, Mich.-- A veteran who has lost 100% of his eye sight, and now his leg due to complications from serving our country says he isn't getting the help he needs to be able to do the simplest of things like getting out of bed, or getting into the shower.
“Blind, amputated, I don't care. We have to keep going,” said Scott Randolph, a Vietnam War veteran.
He was a co-pilot on a helicopter gunship in the Vietnam War. Now, he's desperate for a chance to live a normal life, but he can't do that without some help.
Imagine not being able to move from one room to another, or be able to get in your own shower. Scott Randolph from Kalamazoo County has paid a steep price for serving our country, losing his eyesight and now his leg. While he's proud to have served, he and his wife say they definitely aren't getting the assistance they need after what happened to him.
“It hurts the inner most part of my soul,” said Randolph.
Randolph isn't talking about the hurt of his recent heart attack that has him bed ridden in the hospital, or that he will no longer see again, or when he found out he had to have his leg amputated. He’s talking about the pain he feels that his wife of 18 months has to take care of him full time.
“We were engaged one week when he found out he was going to have his leg amputated, and he gave me the opportunity to not marry him, and I told him at the time, ‘honey, I am not marrying you for your body parts, I’m marrying you for your heart’.”
Darlene meant every word of "to death do we part.”
“He has Agent Orange due to Vietnam and he is 100 percent blind, he has lost his leg because of diabetes and Agent Orange,” said Darlene.
Sometimes physically taking care of her 350 lb and 6 foot 4 husband is impossible.
“Well if he falls on the floor I have to call the fire department or the ambulance to come pick him up. It takes three or four people to pick up this man,” she said.
A burden Scott hates to put on the person he loves most.
“It kills the living daylights out of me. It really hurts the daylights out of my soul,” said Randolph.
She says it’s hard to see a man who fought for our country using all of his mobility and skills, unable to accomplish every day functions that most take for granted. Scott says it’s difficult for him to get from room to room, go to the bathroom, get in the shower, and back out of tight spaces. The hallways are too narrow for his wheelchair, and even his shower isn’t accessible.
What is most scary is it’s a safety hazard. Darlene says escaping a fire is almost impossible if he was alone. Scott recently had a heart attack, and the time it took to get him in the wheel chair and out the door could have cost him his life.
Darlene and Scott say the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs gave him money when he lost his eye sight in 2001. At that time he was mobile, so he purchased a walk in shower. Now with his leg amputated, they need more upgrades and say the VA refuses to help. The VA says they have 1500 they can use toward it, but Darlene says that won’t get them much.
“In the past 18 months I bet we got 9 or 10 denial letters. We’ve gone to Detroit. We’ve gone to Upton’s office. We’ve gone to the VA here in Battle Creek. We've had letters sent to Washington D.C., but we've gotten absolutely nowhere with it,” said Darlene.
Although the war took a lot from Scott, he doesn't look back with regret.
“I refuse to blame god, and I refuse to blame my service. I refuse to. No matter what the outcome on this. Would I like to get it squared away? Boy, you better believe it,” said Scott.
While Darlene and Scott are frustrated by their own situation, they say most of all; they want answers for others who are facing the same struggles.