Monday, April 15
Rusty drives up to our campsite and I can tell by his expression that his visit to the VA was disappointing.
“I’m not getting a house in May. It could be two or three months,” he announces.
“Oh dear. Have a seat, Rusty, and tell me what happened.”
In short, HUD wants more paperwork.
Wow! What a surprise! When Rusty tells the man handing him a stack of forms that he is unable to fill out paperwork due to the shaking of his hands, the man tells Rusty to come back next Monday. At that time someone will go through the many forms with Rusty and fill them out for him. Rusty also has to provide hard copies of his bank statements. Not to mention burn gas in his truck every time he has to make a trip into Prescott.
Rusty is also discouraged to hear he may be “at the top of the list” for a home, but there are two or three others who are also “at the top of the list.”
“Maybe it isn’t like it seems, Rusty. Maybe those other vets are in line for an apartment or assisted living or something like that.”
Now Rusty has to rely on his boondocking skills in order to wait.
This waiting period means staying in Arizona in his truck, possibly through the hot summer months with no air conditioning. He points to some mountains where he can camp above 8,000 feet.
It has been a stressful day for Rusty.
I understand this. Years ago I accompanied both my father and later my uncle on several visits to the VA in Georgia for various reasons. Just seeing and talking with fellow vets stirs up all sorts of feelings. And that’s before dealing with government entities such as HUD.
Rusty tells me he has a headache and his legs ache from walking up and down flights of stairs. The news of the explosions at the Boston marathon doesn’t help.
I suggest he set up his camp and lie down for a while.
“In the morning when you’re rested, you can call up your credit union and work on having the statements sent.”
Timber’s in the truck howling. As Rusty gets up to go, I repeat my usual refrain, “Everything’s gonna’ work out.”
Rusty doesn’t camp next to us.
He can’t get a strong enough signal for phone and internet here, so he moves to a spot along the ridge that has a clear line from the tower. It’s close enough that the crew and I can walk over for a visit.
The house-warming gifts will need to be postponed.
I’m sorry I ignited so much excitement only to douse it with news that we have to wait. I hope you’ll stay with my blog for the special day when I can announce that Rusty and Timber have the address for their new home!
It’s very windy today and a cold front is moving in.
Not the kind of day to take photographs. I did manage to snap this one . . .
Note: For those of you who are new to my blog and wonder who Rusty and Timber are, see my post about the day we met: “rvsue meets camo man!”
For links to national news articles and television coverage: “The story of Rusty and Timber makes national news!“