Instead of being one of "the few, the proud," former Marine Joel Klobnak is now one of "the many, the frustrated."
Klobnak, who lost his leg in Iraq in 2006, is one of 1 million disabled vets who are not receiving money because of a backlog of disability cases, the Des Moines Register reports.
Because of a misunderstanding, Klobnak says, the Department of Veterans Affairs slashed Klobnak's disability pay two years ago. But it still hasn't been fixed simply because of the longstanding paper jam, he tells the Register.
"There's thousands of guys. It's not just me. It's a joke," he said. "I just don't understand why it takes so long."
When he was injured at the age of 19, Klobnak spent six months at the Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., then returned to Iowa with $50,000 the military gave him as compensation. He admits he wasted much of that money in bars and at restaurants.
"I was lonely, I guess," he said. "And I was stupid."
But after time, he got married and had children. The former Marine supports his family of four on just $1,557 per month.
The VA did not respond in time to the Register's request for comment.
Support families like Klobnak's through the National Military Family Association.