BOSTON (CBS) – Joseph Terenzio’s daughter, Brenda D’Errico, could not be more proud. His father, a former army sergeant, had a shadow box full of medals.
Among them, three purple hearts, two bronze stars and a silver star – his most precious was rewarded for saving more than 27 lives. Brenda says he was a true hero.
In March, Terence was recovering from surgery in the soldiers’ house in Chelsea. Disabled one hundred percent, Terence was the first to die of COVID-19.
Terenzio has been married for more than seven decades to Delma, who recently applied for his disability pension and state pension – but both were denied.
“I was amazed. What do we do, do all the widows? ”Delma told WBZ-TV. “If this has happened to all of us. Why would COVID-19 deny us retirement? “
“Due to the fact that my father’s death could have been avoided, I believe the approval of his request is on the VA,” added D’Errico. “The fact that my father went to a place to heal and never went out is really disappointing.”
In a letter, the State Department for Veterans stated that the cause of Terenzio’s death was not related to his service disability, although it made him more vulnerable to the deadly virus.
Deb Olson, with disabled American veterans from Massachusetts, said the organization is working to amend their law to allow families of veterans who died of COVID-19 to receive the benefits earned by their loved ones.
“Legislation needs to be changed right now is the right time to deal with it. We should be able to get support to get it through,” said Olsen.
As for Delma, she said she was worried about the other families as well and said that after the whole family sacrificed, this should never have happened.
“They should give me my money and take care of us,” he said.
Until the law is changed to allow coronavirus death, veteran advocates say families can appeal and receive a letter from their loved one’s primary care doctor showing that disability has contributed to the cause of death.