Former Soldier's Family Faces Eviction Due To Unpaid Benefits

ACADEMY (December 11, 2012)- He's paid the price for our freedoms, but Sgt. Howard Oliver of Academy and his family may not have a home in which to celebrate Christmas in this year.

Howard, his wife Kimi, and there daughter are soon to be evicted.

Inside their home a Christmas tree is nowhere to be found, and moving boxes are littered throughout the house.

"I feel like there's nothing I can do for my daughter," Kimi Oliver said.

"I feel like we're going to be on the streets at any moment."

The Oliver family is behind on bills, but not by choice.

Sgt. Oliver is waiting on money, more specifically, incapacitation pay from the military for injuries he sustained in 2003 while deployed in Iraq.

"Four insurgents attacked our convoy and fired an RPG at our vehicle," Sgt. Oliver said.

"It shifted our truck about 30 feet, and my arm got hung in my sleeve. My arm was ripped out of its socket and all my ligaments in my left shoulder were torn."

Oliver left the Army in 2007 and joined the National Guard, but by that time the pain in his shoulder had worsened and he also developed a severe case of PTSD.

In 2010, he filed for a military Medical Evaluation Board. Sgt. Oliver hoped his injuries would allow medical retirement.

But it took until July 2012 for his Medical Board request to be processed.

"I would basically get the same story," Sgt. Oliver said.

"The National Guard would tell me they had no idea who I was and that I wasn't pending a med-board. It was like that for two years."

While Oliver awaits his Medical Board to be completed, he's also eligible for monthly incapacitation pay. But payment has been coming inconsistently, making it difficult to pay bills.

Oliver says the National Guard owes him roughly $18,000.

Payment records show he hasn't received a single payment since July.

"I am just waiting to be paid so I can clear my bills. It's extremely frustrating," Sgt. Oliver said.

Since 2010, the Oliver family has faced eviction 5 times. This year could be the third time they're unable to give their daughter a Christmas.

"I just don't want something like this to happen to another solider because this is ridiculous. There is no excuse or reason for any of this," Sgt. Oliver said.

As they wait for payment, the Olivers could be evicted at any moment. They cling to each other this Christmas, hoping for some sort of miracle to come their way.

Once his Medical Board is completed, he could receive medical retirement and benefits.

News 10 was unable to reach The National Guard for comment at the time this article was written.


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