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Veteran files claim seeking $1.25M in VA benefits in St. Louis

“We’re going to ask for $1.25 million in compensation for the neglect, harassment, and failure to follow the law," said veteran Jack Davis.

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis-area Veteran is fighting his country for benefits years after leaving the military.

“We need to teach our kids about Agent Orange,” said Jack Davis.  “We need to teach our kids about toxic herbicides.”

Decades after Jack Davis says he was exposed to Agent Orange in Thailand he’s still fighting Veteran’s Affairs for his son’s benefits from the Spina Bifida program.

“It’s a black hole,” said Davis.  “That’s a complimentary description based on my experience.”

According to attorney Christine Clemons, there are thousands of veterans like Davis who are being denied at every turn.

“The difficulties that they’ve had are compounded by the struggle of the parent to establish the exposure themselves,” said Christine Clemons.

Despite seemingly constant denials, Clemons says there’s a silver lining for veterans like Davis.

“Within the VA system you can keep trying,” said Clemons.  “There’s not necessarily an end point.”

“I’m left to figure out a way to play my Don Quixote role to the United States Government,” said Davis.  “The only thing I can see to do now is file a tort claim.”

Included in Davis's filings are claims that the VA avoided his son’s claim in bad faith.

“We’re going to ask for $1.25 million in compensation for the neglect, harassment, and failure to follow the law that the Spina Bifida program has exhibited,” said Davis. “I’ve had people lie to me. I’ve had people tell me that they were going to do something and never do it.”

Davis admits he’s facing an uphill battle that could take years to play out in court.

“There has to be something that the United States of America stands for,” said Davis.

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If you have a story you would like to share, or an issue you would like us to look into, you can email Holden Kurwicki at hkurwicki1@ksdk.com.

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