Rose will, at long last, receive his Social Security benefits
Tony Rose is finally getting his due.
For about the past four years, the Minnesota Veterans Home Hastings resident has been trying to get his social security payments, but has been denied because the U.S. government said he isn't a citizen.
Rose, in conjunction with New York lawyer Stella Mednik, has been working to correct the error, and they got word Tuesday that Rose will be issued a Certificate of Naturalization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Just 10 minutes after he found out, Rose said he wasn't sure how he felt.
"I don't know; I'm still stunned," he said. "It's something where you've been at it for so long, beating your head against the wall, and you finally break the wall instead of fracturing your brain."
Rose first applied for social security in 2005, but was denied. Since early 2008, Rose and Mednik have been navigating the necessary bureaucratic channels, collecting documents and affidavits from his family in an effort to prove that he is indeed a U.S. citizen.
Mednik said the next step is making sure Rose receives back pay for the past four years he's been eligible for social security. She's hopeful that will happen.
Rose said he'd like to visit his brother and sister in Ohio, and maybe go to New York to meet Mednik, because the two have never met face-to-face. Her work on the case has been pro bono.
"I owe her that much at least," Rose said.
Rose joined the U.S. Navy when he was 17 and served four years during the Vietnam War on the USS Currituck as a radar man. He was honorably discharged in 1962. He's been living at the vets home in Hastings for the past four years.