- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A 99-year-old World War II veteran who wants to move from a Minnesota veterans’ home to one in California is frustrated by a state law that requires six months of residency first.

George Vandersluis grew up in Minneapolis and eventually settled in Fresno, California, where he raised his sons after the war. He returned to Minnesota after suffering a heart attack eight years ago because there wasn’t a Veterans Affairs facility in Fresno. So Vandersluis moved into one in Hastings, where his older sister lived until her death last fall.

Now he wants to move back to California so he can be near his children and grandchildren, his daughter-in-law, Roxanne Schatzlein Vandersluis, told KARE-TV (http://kare11.tv/1depjsF ). But the new veterans’ home in Fresno won’t put Vandersluis on a waiting list until he’s established residency, she said.

“As far as I’m concerned, he has had excellent care here and in Hastings. It’s just that now we want to get him back home, the VA system won’t accept him,” Schatzlein Vandersluis said.

Vandersluis needs to be at a facility with skilled nursing staffing, according to his family. While looking into the care facility in Fresno, an administrator told the family not to apply because Vandersluis doesn’t meet the residence requirements enforced by the state of California, they said.

“This is ridiculous. He’s lived there practically his whole entire life,” Schatzlein Vandersluis said.

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is looking into the issue, according to a spokesman for Gov. Mark Dayton.

Staff working for Rep. Tim Walz, who serves on the House Committee for Veterans Affairs, also are checking to see if anything can be done. A spokesman told The Associated Press that no progress had been made as of Wednesday morning.

A spokesman for the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis didn’t immediately respond to a request from The Associated Press for comment.

But a spokesman for the California Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed in an emailed statement to KARE-TV in that state law requires veterans to be California residents before they can be admitted into a VA home.

___

Information from: KARE-TV, http://www.kare11.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide