Sunday, December 23, 2012

Herbert Overton, Jr. - Sick, Homeless Veteran

HERBERT OVERTON, JR. was a college student who decided to volunteer for military service primarily for the college benefits. In 2001, he went to basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. About the third week, there was an incident involving Private Overton's drill sargent, according to Overton's mother.  Rose reports that the sargeant choked her son to the point of unconsciousness, and Overton awoke in a locked room. He was reportedly kept there for three or four days, then transferred to a military hospital. Overton's family was allowed to transfer him to a private hospital in Virginia - a mental hospital. Overton was emotionally distressed and cried a great deal after his experience. There may have been a lack of oxygen flow to the brain that caused Overton permanent damage. That began his mental illness, which continues today.

Dog Justice for the Mentally Ill

Overton could no longer function as he did before going into the military - before his alleged attack by the drill sargeant. He applied for and received veterans benefits. He would cry often and say, "They're putting voices in my head." For numerous years, Overton was in and out of mental hospitals. Rose said he also attempted to self-medicate with marijuana. He was married for a year or two, but the marriage failed. Overton would do well for extended periods, then he would experience another crisis.

In 2008, Overton's life changed for the worse. Rose reports that Overton's grandmother gained guardianship over him through fraud. Rose's mother presented a Power of Attorney to the Department of Veterans Affairs and started receiving Overton's monthly disability benefits. Overton's grandmother also used the Power of Attorney to gain access to Overton's bank account, but she did not use his VA benefits or his savings for his care, according to Rose.

With his income stopped, Overton reportedly stayed with his mother from September 2008 until June 2009, then he went to New York to speak with someone in the Veterans Administration about his benefits. Rose reports that she received a phone call from the VA while Overton was there, and a man told her that he would not help Overton, who disclaimed ever signing a Power of Attorney to his grandmother. After that, Overton was basically homeless. Rose reports that Overton's grandmother collects roughly $2,300 per month for his care, but Overton receives none of the funds and has not since his grandmother was assigned his benefits.

In August 2010, Overton was arrested following a confrontation with a nurse at a VA hospital and wound up in a mental hospital again. The case is/was U.S.A. v. Overton, case number 11-7728, in the United States 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Overton's attorney is/was Stacy A. Phipps, Esq. It is difficult for Rose to help her son, since her mother has his Power of Attorney.

It is unfortunate that people can gain Power of Attorney over veterans and leave them homeless. If you can help, please email Rose at

Sick, homeless veteran

No comments: