Iowa veteran waits 37 years for a check in the mail


Robert Reyes is a 96-year-old World War II veteran who lives with his wife, Wanda, in a one-story, 1,100-square-foot home on Des Moines’ east side that he built with his brother in 1967.

The carpet is dated orange shag, and wood paneling covers the walls. The exterior needs new siding, and the garage door has deteriorated. The Reyeses don’t have a clothes dryer, so they hang their clothes up when one of his two daughters doesn’t take in the wash
Nearly every spring, his basement filled with water, so he would apply for assistance to get it pumped out until daughter Carolyn Nelson bought him a wet vacuum.

His Social Security and small pension combined for less than $2,000 a month, so he was scraping by.
Robert Reyes of Des Moines wearing his Navy uniform in World War II. (Photo: Special to The Register)

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