Iraq veteran Tim Wymore spends most of what he believes are his last days worried about what will become of his family.
He has three lesions on his brain, another on his eye. He suffers from a blood disorder, a damaged esophagus and abdominal problems that led to the removal of most of his colon. He can barely stand, and then only with the aid of a cane.
He is 44 years old.
Wymore, of St. Charles, is one of several hundred veterans across the country who have filed lawsuits contending that dangerous toxins from open-air burn pits operated on U.S. military installations in Iraq and Afghanistan made them sick. Last week a federal judge ruled the case could proceed.
The Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledges that Wymore’s health problems are war-related.
But the VA believes his condition may improve. Because of that, the VA has yet to declare Wymore permanently disabled. As a result, his family is not eligible for many benefits. Those include medical insurance for his wife and college costs for their three sons. Also, Wymore worries that should he die, the VA will not pay a survivor’s benefit to his wife unless she can prove his death is directly related to his military service, a challenge he doesn’t want to put her through.
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