NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Art Sanders retired from the U.S. Navy after serving his country in the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
He is appealing the VA's denial of his disability claim for Sarcoidosis. He was diagnosed in 1960 and his paperwork from that time confirms his condition.
"Since 1961 they've kept denying me for this lung from working in these conditions and paint," said Art Sanders.
Art's early years in the Navy were spent scraping paint off ships like destroyers, and he did it for about ten years. He has Sarcoidosis on his lung and on his skin. For more than 50 years, the VA has denied Art's disability claims for the condition.
"When we sent (the claim) in for my lung condition, they said 'no, you only have it on your skin' they missed the lung completely!" Art said during a roundtable discussion at the DAV office in Wilmington. "Ron (Holtberg) called up to Winston-Salem and said 'how can you miss this, it's on his initial paperwork?' Their new people missed it!"
Art continues to fight for his rights more than a half century later.