A Southern Illinois veteran one step away from homelessness describes it as ‘an amazing course of events’. He and his wife were getting nowhere fighting for much-needed benefits from Veterans Affairs until they contacted 5 on Your Side’s Mike Rush.
Mike first introduced you to Richard and Tina McCulloch from Marion County in November.
Richard lost part of his leg to diabetes. The VA said it had no record of a disability claim they’d been waiting more than a year for.
Mike turned up the heat on the VA, and now the McCullochs are able to turn on their heat.
“I have it on 61,” said Tina McCulloch, looking at the thermostat in their modest home in the small town of Odin, Illinois.
It’s still chilly by some standards, but better than off.
“We can actually turn the heat on without worrying about it so much,” she said.
When Mike Rush first met the McCullochs, they were sitting in the dark to save on electricity and burning wood to stay warm.
“I was threatening to burn Peggy if things got any worse,” joked Tina.
Mike asked Richard, “Peggy is?”
With a smile, Richard responded, “Is my leg. Peg. My peg leg, yeah.”
The leg inspired Richard to take pirate pictures after his amputation, but don’t let their good attitude fool you.