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The Barnette Story PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 26 August 2011 15:47

A Public Debt retiree, Terry Barnette; lives in Deerwalk, WV, 13 miles from Parkersburg.  Barnette received a Purple Heart from wounds received in Vietnam with Mike Company 3/7, 1st Marines on 9/29/68.  He receives 100% disability compensation from VA for his wounds.  For four months he was blind in both eyes; the rest of his life, one eye. He received burns and shrapnel in his face down his left arm and left leg.  The summer of 2006, the VA proposed to reduce Barnette’s benefits.  Barnette believed he was the only one medivac’d in a chopper 9/29/68 after he was wounded.

David Huffman, a WV attorney in Parkersburg that specializes in Veterans Law and Social Security Law was also wounded in Vietnam and received a Purple Heart.  He was totally blinded in both eyes without light perception.  Huffman was also with Mike Company 3/7.  In 1999 Huffman met his wife Cheryl near Ocala, FL while he was visiting another Mike Company Marine, Richard Peterson, who was wounded in Vietnam as well two weeks before Huffman.  Huffman, born in Delaware, decided to close his law practice near Philadelphia, PA and retire in 2000. He and Cheryl moved to WV to be close to Cheryl’s 80 year old mother.  He then started helping Veterans with VA claims instead of retiring. 

In 2006, Barnette asked Huffman to assist him when VA proposed to reduce his benefits.  Huffman stopped the proposed reduction – he added rather than subtracted.  During the initial interview while gathering Barnette’s history, Huffman realized Barnette was wounded 9/29/68, the same day he was wounded.  For years, Huffman had a Vietnam Veteran Memorial rubbing of a Marine he believed was killed in action on the wall in his law office: Benjamin Barnette.  Terry Barnette seen the rubbing then said, “Who’s Benjamin Barnette?”  Huffman said, “You, I just got the first name wrong”.