Mike Rieker, a 69-year-old Vietnam Navy veteran, relies on his Veterans Affairs benefits to get him through the month.
That’s why the Pinellas County, Florida, resident was alarmed when his VA check didn’t show up in his bank account Monday. He called the Department of Veterans Affairs office to find out why, and their response was stunning: The benefits had been suspended because he was dead.
“Well, I’m not,” Rieker retorted. “I woke up this morning and I’m feeling rather chipper, in fact.”
As it turns out, Rieker is one of six Tampa Bay area residents who were getting veterans benefits, but then were declared dead — despite being very much alive.