Missouri Gulf War Veteran Driving Tractor to DC
Reported by: Noah Bond
Last Update: 7/25 10:32 pm
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A Missouri man driving his John Deere tractor from his home in Willow Springs, Missouri to Washington DC is making a stop in our region July 25th. The Gulf War Veteran says he's at a breaking point because he claims he is disabled, but not getting disability benefits from his country.
As a result he can't afford to fix his car so his only remaining mode of transportation is his tractor. Letterman's tractor tops out at about 20 miles per hour. He plans on driving between 10 and 14 hours a day. He is making his way to DC because he doesn't know where else to turn. "This is probably the last fight left in me. I've suffered 2 heart attacks with in the last 60 days. You know its just a matter of time," said Matthew Letterman sitting near his tractor.
He claims the VA has denied him disability after he was declared unfit to work in his profession. His ailments include COPD, congestive heart failure, and he's on 19 different medications.
He blames the ailments on the chemicals he was exposed to during his 1991 wartime service for the US Army in the Mideast and with 5 kids to support he's running out of money. "If they've done this to me how many other guys out there has been down the same road," said Letterman.
He leaves from Metropolis, Illinois July 26th and hopes to pull into our nation's capitol either Wednesday night or Thursday. "I've made it this far I'm going to make it the rest of the way, if Lord willing," Letterman said.
When he gets to Washington DC he will try to talk with Missouri Representative Joann Emerson, Senator Kit Bond, and other key political leaders to lobby for disability benefits for all veterans.
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