Veterans Affairs rejects 94-year-old war hero's request for care

Page 1 of 3 1, 2, 3  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Veterans Affairs rejects 94-year-old war hero's request for care

Post by Trooper on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 10:10

Petter Blindheim applied for long-term care under Allied Veteran program 1 year ago.

At 94, a Norwegian-Canadian war hero wants to live the rest of his life in a Halifax facility for veterans, but one thing is getting in the way.

The Canadian government has denied Petter Blindheim's request to stay there, as well as access to long-term care assistance, saying his war service doesn't make him eligible.

Blindheim is the last Norwegian veteran living in Canada, says his son, Peter Blendheim. (Blindheim's wife changed the spelling of their son's name to make it sound more English.)

Blindheim received six war medals while serving with the Royal Norwegian Navy. Allied veterans are entitled to benefits under the War Veterans Allowance (WVA).

During one particular battle in 1941 aboard the Montbretia, a Norwegian corvette, he was honoured for saving the lives of his fellow crewmen in between torpedo attacks.

"He removed the primer of his depth charge after the ship was torpedoed. A second torpedo hit that ship shortly after. He was one of 27 survivors out of a crew of 74," Blendheim told CBC's Information Morning.

The effects of that deadly attack sent the remaining crew to Lunenburg, N.S., where Blindheim returned immediately after the war in 1945. He settled in Halifax years later and still lives there.

Not an eligible veteran

Blindheim always planned to spend his final days at Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Hospital, his son says. But Veterans Affairs rejected his application.

"They sent us a letter explaining that he was not an eligible veteran," said his son. "I appealed on the grounds that he was in the Royal Norwegian Navy. I provided more documentation and they came back, 'not eligible.'"

His son believes the problem hinges on a single document dating back to 1939.

"Because they say he was in the Merchant Navy, he should have signed this T124 agreement. Well, I can tell you, he was not in the Merchant Navy first off — he was in the Royal Norwegian Navy," Blendheim says.

"I have documentation from his war book."

Veterans Affairs rejection

Veterans Affairs has a narrow window of eligibility for former members of the Norwegian Armed Forces, between April 8, 1940, the date Norway was invaded by Germany, and June 9, 1940, when Germany formally occupied Norway.

"Any service with the Norwegian Armed Forces during the period of its occupation, i.e. from June 10, 1940 to May 8, 1945 (the date World War II terminated in the European theatre), is deemed resistance service and, as such, is not considered qualifying service for WVA purposes," the federal department said Wednesday in an email.

The department said that because of privacy reasons, it couldn't comment on specific cases, and declined an interview request.

Blindheim has accessed veteran benefits from Norway for decades. Most recently, he has used daily provincial home care services. His son argues that Camp Hill is the ideal place for him, given his current medical condition.

In the last year, his father sprained his back and broke his arm, and Blindheim's 73-year-old wife can no longer manage his care on her own.

"He always thought Camp Hill was an option, and my father can't understand why he's being denied," said Blendheim.

Norway's war contribution

To make matters worse, the rejection letters to Blindheim also indicate Norway wasn't a member of the Allied Forces.

"They are saying that — and this upsets my family in Norway — they say Norway surrendered in World War Two," said Blendheim.

"My understanding is the king fled to London [as did] the legitimate government they had there," Blendheim said.

The government continued to operate in exile from London during the war, he said.

Blindheim also escaped to Britain, where he enlisted in the Royal Norwegian Navy at age 18.

Time running out

Family members have been told once the file is closed, the only option will be to take Veterans Affairs Canada to court — a route they're not prepared to follow.

"I know how many Norwegian 94-year-old veterans are left, and my father is the only one in Canada. But in terms of how many other veterans are left, who would have the capacity at that age to even go to court?" Blendheim said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/nova-scotia-veteran-norwegian-denied-care-camp-hill-1.3611528
avatar
Trooper
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 5247
Location : New Brunswick
Registration date : 2013-02-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Veterans Affairs rejects 94-year-old war hero's request for care

Post by bigrex on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 10:51

I feel for the guy, but when you have actual Canadian Veterans being turned away, it's not really a surprise. And honestly, the care they receive is really not better than any nursing home. I've seen Veterans locked into special chairs, and left screaming in the hallways, or left lying in bed in nothing but a diaper. It was quite disturbing. The only benefit they have over other places, is that there is a self serve Tim Hortons in the lobby, and pub on the second floor just for them, and is the only bar in NS that still allows smoking. But if you are stuck in your room, or not allowed to leave your floor without an escort, you cannot take advantage of those things.
avatar
bigrex
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 3078
Location : Halifax, Nova Scotia
Registration date : 2008-09-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Veterans Affairs rejects 94-year-old war hero's request for care

Post by pinger on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 14:25

Caught that article earlier as well.

What you say Bigrex rings a bell to me. Used to volunteer years ago in a vet ward.
Some of them had advocates and family. Some had none at all... sad shyte.
So I'd take them outdoors to smoke or in the pub for the 2 bottles of beer allotted.

Left that because of hospital greed and exploitation.
Esp. when as a volunteer, the hospital workers are layed off the same time.
I shouldn't have to pay... to have sincere intentions.
avatar
pinger
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 1206
Location : Facebook-less
Registration date : 2014-03-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Veterans Affairs rejects 94-year-old war hero's request for care

Post by bigrex on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 16:50

Pinger, I wholeheartedly agree. The VMB staff are paid by VAC, and we all know how they love to cut and limit spending. They probably thought that if they can get volunteers on the floors to actually look after the Veterans, then why bother paying for nurses and LPN's
avatar
bigrex
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 3078
Location : Halifax, Nova Scotia
Registration date : 2008-09-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Veterans Affairs rejects 94-year-old war hero's request for care

Post by nemo on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 17:41

One is fortunate if they die while at home before ever being placed in a care facility. Abuse in those centers is not uncommon and many do not have family or family close enough to hover over their care. So having a massive heart attack sitting in your favorite chair is not necessarily a bad thing.

nemo
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 274
Location : canada
Registration date : 2010-08-13

Back to top Go down

Family fights denial of veteran's care to Canadian who served in Norway's navy

Post by Trooper on Fri 03 Jun 2016, 11:42

HALIFAX -- A frail 94-year-old Canadian who served with Norwegian naval convoys in the Second World War has been struggling to gain entry to a Halifax hospital that cares for veterans.
Petter Blindheim's son Peter says he has been informed by Ottawa that the Camp Hill Veterans' Memorial hospital is refusing long term care to his father under regulations that often allow care for Canadians who fought with the allies.
Veterans Affairs has sent the family a letter saying that because Blindheim signed up with the Royal Norwegian Navy based in Britain after the date the German army occupied his homeland, he doesn't qualify.
Peter Blendheim, whose last name was changed slightly by his mother, says the department is being overly rigid and bureaucratic in denying the care to his father, who risked his life and was decorated for his service on merchant marine vessels and corvettes under British command.
He says at one point his father was commended by the Royal Norwegian Navy for his courage when a torpedo sank a vessel he was serving on.
The son says the federal minister of Veteran Affairs, Kent Hehr, could override the civil servants and allow his father to enter the hospital on compassionate grounds.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/family-fights-denial-of-veteran-s-care-to-canadian-who-served-in-norway-s-navy-1.2929905
avatar
Trooper
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 5247
Location : New Brunswick
Registration date : 2013-02-18

Back to top Go down

Veterans advocate pushes minister to approve care for 94-year-old veteran

Post by Trooper on Fri 03 Jun 2016, 11:44

Former MP and veterans advocate Peter Stoffer says minister can grant compassionate care for Petter Blindheim.

Former MP and veterans advocate Peter Stoffer says he is "quite perturbed" the federal government has denied long-term care for a 94-year-old Norwegian-Canadian veteran living in Halifax.

Petter Blindheim applied through Veterans Affairs Canada for coverage at Camp Hill Veterans' Memorial hospital. His family has received three rejection letters, stating he isn't eligible.

"Whoever wrote the letter to the family had to go to an awful lot of extra effort to find a way to say no," Stoffer said.

"There is absolutely nothing stopping the minister from exercising his authority and allowing Mr. Blindheim into Camp Hill immediately."

Allied veterans are entitled to Canadian benefits under the War Veterans Allowance. Blindheim has been denied care because he enlisted during the German occupation of Norway during the Second World War. Veterans Affairs classifies any Norwegian fighter during that era as "resistance service."

Stoffer believes it's a technicality that could be overlooked.

"They're sending right now, I believe, the wrong message but I'm trying to cut the minister some slack. He is new in his job and trying to figure it all out but in this particular case it's a no brainer," he said.

Veterans Affairs Canada has declined an interview.

Allied versus resistance

Christopher Bell, a history professor at Dalhousie University, also questions why Veterans Affairs rejected Blindheim's war service.

"As far as I can tell, he should be given full recognition as an allied sailor," Bell said.

"Norway was considered to be an allied power during the war. It had a government in exile and armed forces with the allies, and was recognized as an allied power along with Poland or other states that were occupied by the Germans during the Second World War."

Bell differentiates a resistance fighter as somebody who remains in the country and resists from within.

Joined Royal Norweigian Navy

"The main distinction that can be made is typically they aren't wearing a uniform. They have no legal authority as soldiers and today would be classified I suppose as illegal combatants," he said.

According to pictures obtained by Blindheim's family, he wore a uniform. Documents show Blindheim joined the Royal Norweigian Navy on May 14, 1941.

Bell adds the Royal Norweigian Navy made a "significant contribution" to allied forces in the Second World War.

"It provided a number of convoy escorts in the North Atlantic during the Battle of the Atlantic. The Norwegian Navy protected allied soldiers as they hit the beaches of Normandy in 1944, so there's no doubt this was a fully functioning and integrated allied force that was right there on the front lines throughout the Second World War," he said.

'Platinum' care

Stoffer makes the case that any veteran should be entitled to specialized care.

"Camp Hill has more staff per patient ratio than a regular hospital does," he said.

"Plus the fact the staff are highly trained and they're very well skilled in the art of the military and the veteran community and they speak the language and they know exactly what these men and women have gone through in their lives. They know exactly what the triggers are and how to provide that additional, as I call it, platinum care."

Blindheim lives with his wife in a Halifax apartment, where provincial home care workers check in daily.
avatar
Trooper
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 5247
Location : New Brunswick
Registration date : 2013-02-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Veterans Affairs rejects 94-year-old war hero's request for care

Post by 6608 on Fri 03 Jun 2016, 12:26

Here is a good rant on the subject from Rex..........

Rex Murphy | Rejecting a War Hero's Request for Care


http://www.cbc.ca/news/thenational/rex-murphy-rejecting-a-war-hero-s-request-for-care-1.3614019





Cheers
avatar
6608
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 300
Location : NB
Registration date : 2012-06-23

Back to top Go down

Re: Veterans Affairs rejects 94-year-old war hero's request for care

Post by pinger on Fri 03 Jun 2016, 21:08

Well,   Rex Murphy has the one up on Rick Mercer, their both good guys.
And Newfies to boot !

But I'd really like to have a slow cup of tea with Peter Stoffer . . .
avatar
pinger
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 1206
Location : Facebook-less
Registration date : 2014-03-04

Back to top Go down

Canada urged to change stance on care for Norwegian veteran, 94

Post by Trooper on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 10:12

Petter Blindheim 'deserves the utmost care,' says Norwegian advocate Jens Inge Engeland.

The case of a 94-year-old Norwegian veteran living in Canada who's been denied care at a Halifax veterans' facility is shocking, says a veterans advocate in Norway.

The Canadian government contends Petter Blindheim's war service doesn't make him eligible to stay at the Camp Hill Veterans' Memorial hospital and doesn't allow for access to long-term care assistance. He has lived in Canada for 61 years.

"I have to say I was very disappointed, and I was very shocked that this could take place, because he did his service when that was called upon. He deserves the utmost care and to receive service for his participation in the Allied forces," veterans advocate Jens Inge Engeland told CBC's Information Morning in an interview aired Monday.

'He saved a lot of lives'

Starting in 2015, Engeland began doing research to find living Norwegian vets from the Second World War to nominate them for commemoration medals. In the U.S., he found 19 veterans still alive, but only one in Canada — Blindheim.

Engeland says Blindheim is the most decorated veteran of the bunch.

"He saved a lot of lives in World War II, because during a torpedo attack, he removed the primer of a depth charge at his battle station. And by doing that, he saved many men that [were] in the water already that certainly would have been injured or killed when this boat went down," he said.

On June 15, two officials from the Norwegian embassy in Washington, D.C., will be in Halifax to present Blindheim with a commemoration medal.

Blindheim received six war medals while serving with the Royal Norwegian Navy. Allied veterans are entitled to benefits under the War Veterans Allowance (WVA).

Blindheim was turned down for care because he enlisted during the German occupation of Norway during the Second World War and fought as part of the "resistance" effort, Veterans Affairs Canada ruled.

"They based their conclusion on the wrong information, because they said he was in the Merchant Navy. He was in the Royal Norwegian Navy, who sailed under Norwegian flags, but they were under allied command and sailed with Canadian ships, American ships and British ships," said Engeland.

Norwegian media involved

He says the case is attracting attention in the Norwegian media, and says he's been interviewed about it.

A story posted on the website of the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet has the headline "Norwegian war hero denied space at home for veterans in Canada."

Engeland hopes the Canadian government changes its decision about Blindheim's case.

"We consider him a big hero and he deserves the best of care," he said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/petter-blindheim-94-year-old-norwegian-war-hero-1.3617721
avatar
Trooper
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 5247
Location : New Brunswick
Registration date : 2013-02-18

Back to top Go down

WWII vet should be allowed access to Veteran’s Memorial Hospital

Post by Trooper on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 18:00

We’d like to think the Second World War was fought by Canada and her allies not to make the world safe for iron-rule bureaucracy, but to further a better world — where democracy and human rights prevail and where people are treated by their governments with respect, humanity, decency and compassion.

It’s in that spirit that we join the many voices calling on Canada’s Minister of Veterans Affairs Kent Hehr to waive a strange regulation that has been cited by his department as the reason a frail, 94-year-old Norwegian-born Canadian, who served in the Royal Norwegian Navy on convoy duty in the Battle of the Atlantic, has been denied access to the Camp Hill Veterans’ Memorial Hospital.

The story of Petter Blindheim’s wartime service to the Allied cause, and of his son Peter Blendheim’s struggle to have his ailing father admitted to Camp Hill, has been well told by Michael Tutton of The Canadian Press (in Saturday’s Chronicle Herald) and by CBC’s Angela MacIvor.


At age 18, in 1940, Mr. Blindheim fled Norway, which surrendered to Nazi forces in June of that year after British and French forces evacuated the country, to join the Royal Norwegian Navy, based in Britain.

The RNN continued to fight alongside the Allies under the authority of King Haakon VII’s government in exile in London. Mr. Blindheim received six medals while serving with the RNN, including one for saving lives when the corvette Montbretia was torpedoed and sunk in 1942. In that action, he removed the primer from a depth charge on the sinking ship, preventing the charge from killing crewmen in the water when the corvette went down.

Mr. Blindheim settled in Canada after the war. He has lived here for 61 years and is now the last RNN veteran in Canada. He and his family long believed he would be eligible to live at Camp Hill, as an Allied veteran, if he needed long-term care. He needs that care now. Several falls have left him with a sprained back and a broken arm and his 73-year-old wife can no longer manage his care at home.

But Veterans Affairs says he is ineligible for care at Camp Hill. That’s because a department regulation only recognizes former members of the Norwegian armed forces as Allied veterans if they served between April 8, 1940, when Nazi Germany invaded Norway, and June 9, when the occupation began.

Those who served during the rest of the war are deemed to have provided “resistance service” and do not qualify for veterans’ benefits in Canada.

To his credit, Mr. Hehr advised The Canadian Press last week that he has directed VA officials to work with the family and the provincial health authority to find Mr. Blindheim long-term care.

But the minister can do better if timely provincial care is not available. The Veterans Act gives him jurisdiction over the care and treatment not only of those who served in the Canadian Forces and Merchant Marine, but of “any other person designated by the Governor in Council.”

That discretionary authority to deal with special circumstances surely presumes there will be cases when it should be used — because that’s the right thing to do. Providing care for Mr. Blindheim at Camp Hill is one of those cases.

The rule excluding Norwegians who fought alongside us under their national services and their recognized government in exile is specious and petty. They were our allies in deed and in fact, if not in VA regulatory thinking. The rule is disrespectful of a country that has continued to be a good ally, as a fellow founding member of NATO. But most of all it is needlessly lacking in compassion for a brave Canadian who deserves better from his country.

A larger sense of gratitude, obligation and generosity to an Allied veteran and longtime Canadian citizen should prevail over a narrow and substantially arbitrary regulation that deprives him of proper care.

To coin a certain prime minister in another case of setting the right example: We should do it because it’s 2016.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/editorials/1370213-editorial-wwii-vet-should-be-allowed-access-to-veteran%E2%80%99s-memorial-hospital
avatar
Trooper
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 5247
Location : New Brunswick
Registration date : 2013-02-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Veterans Affairs rejects 94-year-old war hero's request for care

Post by 6608 on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 09:22

Norwegian Petter Blindheim, 94, gets Allied veteran status, but still no Canadian care

Decorated war hero remains denied entry to Halifax veterans' facility
By Richard Woodbury, CBC News Posted: Jun 07, 2016 8:35 AM AT Last Updated: Jun 07, 2016 9:05 AM AT


A 94-year-old Norwegian veteran living in Canada has been classified as an Allied veteran, but that doesn't mean he will automatically be allowed entry into a Halifax veterans' facility for care, his son says.

The case of Petter Blindheim, a decorated war hero who received six medals while serving with the Royal Norwegian Navy, has sparked outrage in Canada and in Norway because of the Canadian government's initial refusal to classify him as an Allied veteran. That classification has prevented him from being allowed into the Camp Hill Veterans' Memorial hospital, which is where he would like to be cared for.

Allied veterans are entitled to benefits under the War Veterans Allowance (WVA).

Blindheim was turned down for care, because he enlisted during the German occupation of Norway during the Second World War and fought as part of the "resistance" effort, Veterans Affairs Canada ruled.

Blindheim's son, Peter Blendheim, says he received a call recently from Veterans Affairs Canada stating his dad would now be recognized as an Allied veteran.

"Here's the catch — Camp Hill [is] specifically for three groups of people, I've been told: Canadian vets, Allied vets who meet special requirements, Korean vets who meet special requirements. So, now we're going further down the rabbit hole," Blendheim told CBC's Information Morning on Tuesday.

"What's special requirements? It turns out special requirements are specialized care that cannot be provided by the community facilities that exist."

'We would never have made a stink'

Blendheim says the Veterans Affairs person told him that an example would be something like a contagious disease.

"If they were going to make it so difficult for an Allied veteran to get admitted to Camp Hill, they should just say point blank, 'We're not taking Allied veterans in Camp Hill. There's no application form for you,'" said Blendheim. "We would never have made a stink. We would never have complained."

He says the family first applied about a year ago to have his father admitted for care at Camp Hill.

In Canada, the case has generated an outpouring of support for Blindheim.

'They didn't surrender'

In Norway, the case is attracting lots of media attention, but the focus is more on the Canadian government's view that Norway surrendered to Germany in the Second World War, says Blendheim.

"What is this business about surrender? They were occupied, they didn't surrender. They don't see it as a surrender," he said.

Blindheim is the only Norwegian Second World War vet living in Canada.

During one particular battle in 1942 aboard the Montbretia, a Norwegian corvette, he was honoured for saving the lives of his fellow crewmen in between torpedo attacks when he removed the primer of a depth charge at his battle station.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/petter-blindheim-norwegian-war-veteran-canada-1.3619770



The BS Continues!!



Cheers
avatar
6608
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 300
Location : NB
Registration date : 2012-06-23

Back to top Go down

Re: Veterans Affairs rejects 94-year-old war hero's request for care

Post by Dannypaj on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 09:50

Yup!
avatar
Dannypaj
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 1076
Age : 40
Location : Halifax
Registration date : 2015-01-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Veterans Affairs rejects 94-year-old war hero's request for care

Post by Trooper on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 12:54

This could all have been avoided if our MVA showed some leadership an ordered it done.
avatar
Trooper
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 5247
Location : New Brunswick
Registration date : 2013-02-18

Back to top Go down

Feds shift stance on veteran seeking admission to Halifax hospital after outcry

Post by Trooper on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 17:56

HALIFAX -- A decorated 94-year-old war veteran who was initially refused admission to a federally funded hospital is now being assessed for entry after a public outcry over his treatment.
But Petter Blindheim's son says the family is still anxiously awaiting word on whether Veterans Affairs will fund his father -- who served on convoys for the Allies as a member of the Norwegian Royal Navy -- for care at the Camp Hill Veterans' Memorial hospital in Halifax.
In initial refusal letters, the department said that because Blindheim went to England and signed up with the Norwegian navy after his homeland was occupied, he was classified as being in the "resistance service" rather than an Allied veteran.

A regulation in the Veterans Health Care Regulations says resistance groups aren't eligible for the benefits.
Peter Blendheim, whose last name is spelt differently from his father's, says he learned Monday the department has shifted its stance and is declaring Petter Blindheim to be an Allied veteran.
However, he has received a followup email saying the department must assess whether Blindheim's health care issues "have increased" and the elderly man requires "specialized care that cannot adequately be provided in a community facility."
A nurse from Veterans Affairs was assessing Blindheim at his apartment on Tuesday afternoon, said the son.
A spokeswoman for federal Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr says she cannot comment on the specifics of the case.
"For privacy reasons, we are not able to comment on a specific case, but rest assured my department works with veterans and their families to ensure they receive the services and benefits to which they are entitled," said Sarah McMaster in an email.
Alupa Clarke, the Conservative critic for Veterans Affairs, says that the department's initial argument that the Norwegian forces didn't form part of the Allies was incorrect and insulting.
"The minister should review the policies to adjust to special circumstances. This man has done venerable action ... He's 94 years old. We should be open minded to specific circumstances where we see a man in need," said Clarke in a telephone interview.
"Take care of him. Bring him in Camp Hill hospital so he can be surrounded by his mates."
Blindheim was commended by the Royal Norwegian Navy for his courage when a torpedo sank a vessel he was serving on in November 1942.

After torpedoes struck the Montbretia, Blindheim ran to the deck and removed a primer from the depth charges he oversaw to help ensure they wouldn't go off and kill sailors in the water as the ship sank.
After the war, he emigrated to Canada.
Jens Inge Egeland, a veterans advocate in Norway, said in an email that the incident has drawn attention in Norwegian media outlets. "Norwegians are very shocked by the unfair rules by the Canadian veterans affairs over who they consider Allied veterans," he said.
Egeland said a reference in the initial refusal letter to Norway having "surrendered" in 1940 is objectionable, as most Norwegians consider that the country continued to fight Hitler's forces through their exiled forces.
An official with the Nova Scotia Health Authority, which operates Veteran's Memorial with federal funding, says there are 175 beds at the hospital.
Everton McLean said 13 beds are currently unoccupied.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/feds-shift-stance-on-veteran-seeking-admission-to-halifax-hospital-after-outcry-1.2935419
avatar
Trooper
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 5247
Location : New Brunswick
Registration date : 2013-02-18

Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 3 1, 2, 3  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum