Local Veteran Needs Help - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local Veteran Needs Help

Robert Smith served our country for four years, including in Desert Storm. Then at just 28... Doctors diagnosed him with a brain tumor. Now at 40, his care givers fight to get Smith the assistance he needs.

After emergency surgery to remove the brain tumor, treatment to ensure it was completely gone, and then three strokes, Robert Smith is left with little movement in his left side, he is barely able to speak, and has to be taken care of 24 hours a day, all on a budget of about a thousand dollars a month.

Smiles are rare.... But this one symbolizes today is a good day..

Kevin Whittenberge, Smith's caregiver says, "It's hard some days, but other days he does great. He has good days and bad days."

It's been 12 years... But no one will forget the day his life changed.

Deborah Larkin, who also takes care of Smith says, "He said he had a real bad headache. He went to work and he fell on the concrete and they rushed him to the hospital and that's when they found the tumor."

Smith was only out of the military a short time before being diagnosed, but it was long enough to not qualify him for the Service Connected program.

Larkin says, "I believe he deserves to be service connected. That means that he has all the rights of a VA. He can get his teeth cleaned, he can get glasses, he can be in the Veterans home when he needs to be."

Now Larkin just hopes to build a support group for other vets suffering like Robert.

Whittenberge says, "They need a lot of help. They come back from serving their country and people just kick them to the curb."

Smith's daughter graduated from high school last weekend... He was not there... Because he couldn't travel due to his medical condition.

If you would like to become part of the support group being organized... you can email Larkin at calwik1@yahoo.com

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