WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) – Financial information, children’s names, home addresses and social security numbers for 13 veterans from Virginia ended up in the mailbox of an Army veteran in Williamsburg, who had requested only his own medical information.
James Graves contacted 10 On Your Side Thursday after he opened his mail. Graves had requested his own medical information connected with his service-connected disability from his days in the Army. He received a thick manila envelope from a Department of Veterans Affairs Evidence Intake Center in Janesville, Wisconsin. Instead of the medical information he was seeking, the envelope contained letters of dependency awards for Graves and 13 other veterans who live in Virginia.
“This is crazy,” Graves told 10 On Your Side. “This shouldn’t have happened.”
Each letter includes the amount of money the veteran receives from the VA for each dependent child, the child’s first name, the veteran’s claim number which is the social security number, and the home address.
Graves says he immediately filed a complaint with the Inspector General, and has been in contact with the Veterans Affairs regional office in Roanoke.
U.S. Navy veteran Shauncey Maver, of Chesapeake, was one of the 13 veterans whose private info ended up in Graves’ mailbox.
“The VA screwed up, and I was infuriated when you called me.”
10 On Your Side connected Maver with Graves. He plans to get her personal info back to her.
“I’m glad you called me,” Maver told WAVY’s Chris Horne Friday afternoon. “If that falls into the wrong hands, they can literally use it for illegal purposes.”
Graves says he will get the documents to their rightful owners if he can find them. WAVY News 10 was able to track down two of the five local veterans involved and connected them with Graves.
“They need to have some evidence to know that this was exactly what happened to them,” Graves said about the victims.
“Thankfully [the private info] ended up with somebody that was honest,” Maver said about Graves.
Both of them want whoever’s responsible to be held accountable.
“I hope is that our congressmen and our senators look at Channel 10 News and say, this is unacceptable.”
10 On Your Side contacted the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington to find out how and why the information was compromised. We’ll update this story when we get a response.