Marine who won VA battle dies in Sarasota
By Thomas Becnel
Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tom Gervasi, a veteran who won his protracted disability claim fight with the government over the rare cancer he contracted during his service, died Tuesday at home in Sarasota.
He was 77.
While serving in the Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., in 1956, Gervasi was exposed to contaminated water that caused breast cancer, which rarely affects men. For the last decade, he fought with the government over medical coverage for him and other veterans.
After repeated denials, he finally received a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs in April confirming that the contaminated water had in fact caused his cancer.
The Rochester, N.Y. native, a former police officer and homicide investigator, is survived by his wife Elaine, four children and seven grandchildren.
“He was a fighter, I’m telling you, you wouldn’t believe it,” Elaine Gervasi said Wednesday. “He was concerned about other people who had the same affliction. He was fighting to help them.”
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