Subject of Gazette Series Granted Medical Benefits

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By Dave Philipps

Kash Alvaro hangs out in front of the apartment where he was staying. After an argument with his girlfriend, Alvaro moved across the complex to live in the basement with his friends. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette To read the full story, visit Gazette.com/soldiers

 
Kash Alvaro, an Army veteran who has been suffering from seizures since being hit by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2009 but was stripped of medical benefits when he was kicked out of the Army for minor misconduct in 2012, has been granted health-care and disability benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“This is great news,” Alvaro said Monday. “Now I can finally go to the hospital.”
The news came just days after Alvaro collapsed in convulsions in a V.A. hearing room.
Alvaro was featured in The Gazette’s “Other Than Honorable” series in May showing how more soldiers are being discharged from the Army for misconduct each year, and among the discharged are injured combat veterans who are stripped of their benefits as punishment. The Gazette detailed how, with nowhere else to turn, the homeless 24-year-old Alvaro relied on the emergency room when he had seizures and had up to $50,000 in unpaid bills.
A day after the story ran, the V.A. called Alvaro to schedule a hearing for consideration of benefits.
On June 23, Alvaro got a ride to the V.A. regional office in Denver for a formal hearing.
Nervously clenching his jaw, the former combat engineer described to the hearing officer how his platoon would go out daily in search of roadside bombs and how many soldiers were killed along the way. He described being thrown across the road by a blast that left him forever changed.
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