Can you hear me?

Jared gets his ears checked in Spokane for his VA benefits. Photo by: AJ Chavar

For more than half an hour, Jared Starkel waited nervously in the waiting room of a hospital clinic. Just a week ago, Starkel got his first sign of getting his benefits—a packet of paperwork in the mail from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Today, with no more than two days notice, Jared sat waiting to have his hearing examined for his benefits claim. 


Jared drove nearly five hours south of his home in Oroville, WA to go to a half hour doctor’s appointment. Although he had to get to the appointment on his own, the VA reimbursed his with a $160 check in exchange for his commute. Now the results of his examination will be sent to the VA to decide on whether Jared’s claim of hearing loss from his time in Iraq is valid. Until the paperwork is processed, Jared once again will wait to get his benefits. 


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