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Army Widow Wins Battle with VA

(La Porte County, IN) - A local Army widow who has been seeking to hold the government accountable for her husband’s death got her point across with a sizable legal settlement.


On the evening of October 15th, 2020, 33-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Jason Moon took his own life in his family’s La Porte County home. Jason’s wife LaShanda and the three youngest of their five children were in the home at the time.


The tragic incident followed repeated attempts to get Jason mental health treatment from the Veteran’s Administration. Jason Moon served two tours as a medevac crew member during Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning multiple service medals and commendations. But he couldn’t shake the traumas he experienced.


Following Jason’s death, Mrs. Moon filed a wrongful death claim against the Department of Veterans Affairs, citing multiple missteps and oversights. The suit claimed that Moon was placed in the care of an unlicensed intern by the South Bend Vet Center, and only had appointments via phone. It also alleges that the VA falsified documents after his death to hide their negligence.


“My husband was failed by a system that exists solely to support the men and women who have served our country,” said LaShanda. “I have spent nearly three and a half years re-living the worst night of my life hundreds of times while trying to be the voice for my husband and the other 22 veterans who end their lives every single day, as I have demanded the VA take accountability and pleaded with them to make policy changes. 1066 is more than a number on a file. His name was Jason Edward Moon and I pray changes will be made in his memory.”


According to a statement from lawyers, “The case was aided by whistleblowers who came forward to talk about serious dysfunction at the South Bend Veterans Center which treated Mr. Moon and contributed to his downward spiral and death.”


In a settlement announced this week, the Moon family was awarded $1.7 million.


“Money does not bring back a person. Nor does it replace a parent or spouse,” said Peter Bertling, attorney for the Moon family. “But it can provide support for their future and for their lives going forward. The case also exposed serious errors made by the South Bend Vet Center that we hope are rectified, so no other veteran has to suffer like Mr. Moon did. He served his country in wartime and was owed so much better than the mental health care he received.”


Statistics suggest that an average of 22 American veterans commit suicide every day.

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