VA Card Stolen from Valley Veteran

3 years 8 months 2 weeks ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 August 21, 2017 5:15 PM August 21, 2017 in News

HARLINGEN – Geanne Goreham spends her days with her husband and pets. She spent two years in Germany as an Army Chef during the Vietnam War. She said walking away from her service wasn't easy.

"Matter of fact, my mess sergeant got down on his hands and knees and begged me to stay," said Goreham. "He didn't want me to leave! He was home with his wife while I was taking care of everything."

On Saturday, Goreham learned a pivotal part of her life was missing from her purse. 

"I didn't realize that my billfold was missing," she said.

In her black billfold was her Veterans Affairs ID card, her Social Security card and her concealed carry license.

Goreham suffers from congestive heart failure and had a bout with cancer last year. Having access to medical care is extremely important to her.

"I need that so I can go to the hospital because they don't charge the vets if you got your card," said Goreham. "And they took my card, so, you know."

We reached out to Valley Baptist Medical Center for more details on what they do to keep their patients safe during their visits.

Valley Baptist Medical Center director of marketing Teri Retana issued the following statement:

"The safety and security of our patients, visitors and staff is of the utmost importance to Valley Baptist.   We will conduct an investigation, reaching out to Ms. Goreham to gather more information to ensure an appropriate and thorough follow-up to this incident. We have security on duty 24 hours/day, and cameras throughout the facility, and take very seriously any reported theft or loss of belongings at our hospitals."

Felix Rodriguez is a Veterans Service Officer in the Valley. He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the VA card is essential for veterans.

"It's your identification card when you go to VA outpatient clinics for appointments! You have to surrender it to begin with so that VA will know you are who you say you are," he said. 

Rodriguez added replacing a lost or stolen card is relatively simple. Step one is letting the VA know.

"Then go to the nearest VA outpatient clinic and there will be someone there that will deal with this issue, and they'll issue you a new card," said Rodriguez.

"If I could get the person to bring my billfold back to me, I would give them $50," said Goreham.

Anyone who may need to replace a Social Security card can find details on how to do so at www.ssn.gov.

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