I could write volumes about Sen. Jon Tester’s help for all veterans and specifically his help for me. To say that Jon is the champion of U.S. Veterans in all things would be a gross understatement
After 24 years of service in the U.S. Navy, including two combat tours to Vietnam, my 20 years in the cockpit took its toll on my ability to hear. In the summer of 2015, I began the process of acquiring hearing aids from the VA, but when I attempted to order the hearing aids through the VA Veterans’ Choice Program, I was told that I was not authorized.
We live in Noxon, a two-and-a-half hour drive from the nearest VA clinic in Missoula, and the closest contracted hearing specialist. By contrast, our civilian medical care is only 45 minutes to the west, in Sandpoint, Idaho, but after several weeks of back and forth visits, wasting time for me and the specialist, the hearing aids were again denied — because I was not a resident of Idaho.
When I returned to Step One, the VA office in Helena, the final authorization for me to actually get the hearing aids was made possible by the involvement of Sen. Tester, to whom I had reached out for help. Several months later, the hearing aids arrived in Libby.
Our happy ending was assured by Sen. Tester’s determination to make sure that this veteran received the care he deserved, even though “the system” was not getting that done. My wife and I are grateful for all the efforts our Sen. Tester continues to make on our behalf, as any disability (service related or not) affects everyone who respects and cares about the veteran and his or her quality of life.
—Thomas B. Humphreys,