2017-02-16 / Front Page

Former chief can’t get assistance even after serving 29 years

By JANE ELLYN AARON
staff writer


DAVIS DAVIS Former Chief of Police Mike Davis, who served the City of Washington for 12 years, is in current need of community support, as he is facing almost immediate expulsion from the care facility where he currently resides and receives treatment for his frontal temporal dementia.

His diagnosis with the disease in 2011 is what forced Davis to retire from his position with the city.

Davis, who is also a former military man, served 29 years as an army command sergeant major – the highest enlisted rank – and is unfortunately unable to draw benefits from the Veterans Association due to an odd “grey area” that he falls into.

“We applied for disability through the VA, because I was told that he had to have a 10 percent disability before he could be considered for a VA nursing home,” his wife Teresa said. “He did not have a disability when he retired, he had small things that were wrong, but when he retired from the military he went from active duty right into the police department, and his focus was on the department, so that kind of took second place.”

Currently, Davis is located at a rehabilitation center in Sparta for his condition, however “we received a letter Saturday, giving me until the 25th of February to remove him from the facility because we owe $25,866 dollars, $198 a day,” she said, including that the fee continues to increase. “We had been self-pay and we liquidated all of our investments and savings and assets that we could, and ran out of money.”

She adamantly expressed that the facility and its workers “have been wonderful,” but the decision to remove Davis has come from the corporate level.

“We have been asked the whole time we’ve been going through this, ‘Why is the VA not caring for him since he served for 29 years?’ and the public seems to think that if you served, and if you’re retired, that they provide care, and that is not true,” Davis said. “We’ve been denied care at the VA because of the fact of his retirement – that it exceeded the maximum amount that you could make – and the fact that he did not have a 10 percent disability, so they would not see him.”

Having recently spoken to a VA social worker, Davis noted that worker explained that “we seem to fall into a grey area. If we were poor, the government would provide excellent service, and if we were wealthy, we would be able to provide that service for him, and we’re in a position where there’s nowhere to turn.”

Currently, Chief Davis’ daughter, Lisa Fisher, is working with a colonel that formerly served with him at Fort Leavenworth in order to help her father’s case. The colonel has put out requests for letters and other documentation involving Davis’ case to be sent to Fisher so that she may put together packets to send to the White House, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Furthermore, the family has been in contact with the offices of Georgia’s Representative Jody Hice and Senator Johnny Isakson, and Davis informed that District 33 Representative Tom McCall is also monitoring the situation.

Davis encouraged, “If anyone wants to write a letter [to these representatives and offices], I think if we can get a massive amount of people to help, it will bring attention to the situation.

“Mike’s daughter has sent letters to everyone she can think of, she’s contacted the major news channels, and we’ve sent emails to President [Donald] Trump and all of the members of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, and several of the officers that served with him have sent letters to the Armed Forces Committee,” she said.

Davis also served as a post sergeant major on Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama, which according to his wife, is one of the most toxic places in the country.

“The chemical school was there, and actually they say that if you served at Fort McClellan from the 1930s on, that you were exposed,” she said. “They took chemical stores and buried them under the ground, but the containers were compromised, and the chemicals leaked out.

“It’s also very close to [a] plant in Anniston, and they’ve had chemicals that were running off into the post,” Davis continued, “The City of Anniston filed a lawsuit … and they won, however there was a stipulation for anyone involved with the military saying that they could not be included as a recipient of any of the funds because that should be the government [who takes care of them].”

Davis likened her husband’s sit- uation to that of the Agent Orange bout that occurred in the 70s, “We were told this weekend, actually by the colonel who has sent out letters, to have Mike checked for Agent Orange exposure, because apparently the only two places that you can have that is from Fort McClellan and Vietnam.”

While, Chief Davis didn’t fight in the Vietnam War, he did serve for 14 years on Fort McClellan, giving ample time for certain chemical exposure and the affects that could follow. His wife also explained that the PT and parade fields were utilized for live chemical testing before the facility was constructed. She went on to point out that early onset dementia could be a result of serving at the fort as recent data and reports highlight the disease as one of the possible degenerative outcomes.

“We were told that if we could prove that he had one day in Vietnam, he would be eligible for them to provide care to him. Right this minute, we can’t prove anything to show that,” she said.

The possibility of Davis having exposure to Agent Orange is very likely, so much so that the family is pushing to have him tested for the chemical. Currently they understand what type of test he’ll need to undergo to prove his exposure, however they are still searching for a laboratory that will run the actual testing.

“At the time of his diagnosis he had dedicated his whole adult life to the country, the army, and the community, and it’s sad that in the time that he really needs them to come through for him they aren’t,” Davis said. “We just went through a lot, and physically it would be unsafe for him as well as myself to bring him home. We are not giving up, God can do miracles so we don’t quit, but at this time, in his condition, it would be impossible for me to provide the type of care that he needs.”

The Davis family has expressed that any letters that can be written would be most helpful, however those wishing to support them monetarily may visit the Go Fund Me Page titled “CSM Davis Assistance Fund” to make a donation.

Davis is the proud father of Mike Davis Jr., Lisa Fisher, and Ben and Jacob Davis, as well as the grandfather to four grandchildren.

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