Virtually homeless Vietnam vet starting to get answers after com - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Virtually homeless Vietnam vet starting to get answers after coming to "Orlo Wants to Know"

Cliff Chafee, 72, of Sandusky, is fighting the VA for medical assistance. (Source: WOIO) Cliff Chafee, 72, of Sandusky, is fighting the VA for medical assistance. (Source: WOIO)
SANDUSKY, OH (WOIO) -

Orlo Wants to Know is getting help for a Sandusky veteran who says the Veterans Administration has turned a deaf ear to his pleas. 

Cliff Chafee is 72 years old, a Vietnam-era veteran and suffers from numerous health problems. 

"The worst problem I have is my teeth. I have three teeth left in my mouth. Periodontal disease." 

Chafee thought he could get help from the VA when he got an award letter saying he qualified for dentures.

That changed when he got to the Stokes VA Hospital in Cleveland. 

He admits he raised a fuss when they said all they would do is pull his teeth and not give him dentures. That is when he says everything changed

"They refused to do it. We don't like your attitude. We don't think we can help you," said Chafee.

He was asked "but you have an award letter."  He answered "Yeah."  And was told, "That's not our problem, that's your problem."

Cliff was self-employed for 45 years but health problems, including a heart operation, diabetes and neuropathy put an end to his career, which forced changes.

"I sold a bunch of my tools. I sold the tool trailer I had 'em in. I've just been surviving since they condemned the property." 

He was referring to the now-condemned home he rented until recently. He noticed electrical problems and says when the landlord refused to fix them, he called authorities. 

It took months but they came and condemned the place, which meant he had to leave.

Cliff's situation gets worse. After the home was condemned he had no place to go so for a time he lived behind the home, in his car. He has a VA hospital card, and contacted Congressman Jim Jordan who first told us "we are working to help Mr. Chafee get any benefits that he is due." 

Later Congressman Jordan's office confirmed what Cliff suspected the VA office never filed Cliff's claim. Jordan says his office will help get him connected to the resources available to him.

A reminder to all veterans: each VA hospital has a veterans advocate. 

If you're having trouble start there.

We will keep you updated when Orlo Wants to Know gets an answer for Cliff.

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