Nearly 70 years ago, a 21-year-old Captain Richard Wheaton flew in nearly 40 combat missions in World War II over Nazi-occupied Europe. He flew in rescue missions and food drops. He survived four crash landings. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. He is a true war hero. You can read about him in Top Turret by Oral F. Lindsey and Bombardiers of Wwii by Phillip A. St. John.
Captain Wheaton, bottom left, posing in front of his B-17 with his crew.
Captain Wheaton turned 91 years old recently.Mr. Wheaton settled down in Independence, Mo. He has a big family and he’s active in church and keeping up with his big family.
But Mr. Wheaton is still fighting today. And unfortunately, it’s his own government. The VA admitted it made a mistake in the early 1990s when it missed evidence that Mr. Wheaton had been exposed to asbestos overseas. But the VA has refused for years to correct the mistake. Essentially, the VA says it made an error, but the error was not Clear and Unmistakable.
Mr. Wheaton and I have taken his case all the way up to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. We are currently waiting on the decision. Please keep Mr. Wheaton in your thoughts. I would not bet against this veteran.