Congressman Joins Soldier Investigation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/14/05

Congressman Joins Soldier Investigation

New developments Monday night in an exclusive story NewsChannel 11 has been following for more than a month- since we first told you about Keith Huffaker, a Lubbock soldier battling a mysterious illness that put him in a wheelchair. He has gained the support of the community and now a local Congressman.

Keith received letters from Congressman Neugebauer's office explaining that they began their inquiry into the Department of the Army, but now Keith is battling against time as his medical benefits will be obsolete in a little over a week, when he will be discharged.

3/11/05
Second Opinion for Lubbock Soldier
NewsChannel 11 has been exclusively following a local soldier that is trying to get answers on his rare disease, and he finally got to see a doctor for a second opinion.

"They've got to get rid of the weakest link. I can't do my job, I understand, but I wish they'd wait until this congressional grievance is looked into," said Keith.

Keith shared his story with us about a month ago, saying that the Army mis-diagnosed him with a rare disease he believes he got while serving in Iraq. Since then many things have changed.

"When I first started out there were no receptive ears, now that's changed," remarked Keith.

NewsChannel 11 first aired the story hoping to help Keith find some answers. From that story, we found a local doctor that agreed to give Keith a second opinion. Doctor Randolph Schiffer told us on the record that he thought the diagnosis from the Army was incorrect, and it couldn't be pre-existing. Since the first appointment, Dr. Schiffer has set up times to do more tests on Keith, as well as start him on a treatment to help improve the condition.

Last Friday, Keith received a letter from Congressman Neugebauer's office that showed the progress of their inquiry to the Department of the Army. So far, the Army wrote back saying they've initiated an inquiry into this matter, and said they would keep the Congressman updated.

But Keith still has some questions he needs answered, such as, what is his disease? Will the Army pay him disability and medical benefits?

"I will hope for the best, and be expecting the worst," explained Keith.

Keith is supposed to be discharged March 25th, and he is hoping that Congressman Neugebauer's office can help speed up the process so he can afford his medical bills. If you would like to help support Keith, you can make donations at any Lubbock National Bank location.

2/16/05
Local Soldier Battles Mysterious Disease
A mysterious illness has a local soldier fighting for his health and looking for answers. Private First Class Keith Huffaker returned to Lubbock last year after his tour of duty in Iraq to come home to a major illness.

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