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Triple Amputee Vet Must Pay Child Support

May 18, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — A Vietnam veteran who lost his legs, his right arm and an eye in combat must use $800 of his $3,500-a-month federal disability benefits to pay child support, the Supreme Court ruled today.

The high court, voting 8 to 1, held that Tennessee has the authority to deduct child support from Veterans Administration payments to Charlie Rose.

Writing for the court, Justice Thurgood Marshall said, "We fully appreciate the physical sacrifice (Rose) made while in the military service of his country and we acknowledge his needs as a totally disabled veteran for medical assistance and financial support."

"But we also recognize that . . . the Tennessee Circuit Court has properly taken into account (his) needs, along with the needs of his children in setting his child support obligation."

After suffering his injuries, Rose married Barbara Ann McNeil in 1973 and the couple had two children. They were divorced in 1983 and Rose was ordered to pay child support. Rose is unable to work and his only source of income is $3,500 a month in Social Security and VA payments.

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