A 90-year-old WWII veteran's long fight with the VA

A 90-year-old World War II veteran is playing a long game with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

When Troy Shakles was in the Navy, he served in the pacific theater of war, now he's based out of Elgin facing a different struggle: trying to qualify for benefits he says he earned some 70 years ago.

Shakles is a determined man. At home in Elgin, he walks a track every day determined to stay active, he's also determined to get the medical benefits he feels are due from the VA.

"I got letters to the President, the Speaker, and the state because we vets are denied our rights," he said.

Troy tells us during his service years in the navy he injured his back, and recently his teeth are in bad shape, he says the only thing he got from the VA was pills and that was years ago.

Veteran advocate Sassy Michele has taken up his cause and is trying to guide him through the VA bureaucracy.

"It's very frustrating. I'm sure I've got some grey hair from this whole process but my problem is I feel so bad and helpless because Mr. Shakles is the one that's suffering from all this," she said.

A big issue is that Shakles' VA records were destroyed in a fire back in the 70's, so now he's got no proof of his service injuries and standing.

He and Michele are trying to change that, but the paperwork and red tape are daunting. So much so that Michele has started a GoFundMe campaign to help Shakles out in the meantime.

So where is the VA on all this? Well they called FOX 7's Mike Warren about Mr. Shakles' case.

They told him they are now very aware of the struggles Mr. Shakles is going through and instead of him having to go their clinic they are going to be sending a representative to visit him to get his claim quickly worked out.

All the while Shakles is still determined and is still walking laps around the track in Elgin.

"I've been trained and taught not to get angry because when you're angry you say things that will get you in trouble. I'm upset because of the way the system is," he said.

To help Shakels, you can donate to his GoFundMe campaign by clicking here.

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