VA: Laptop With Private Information Of 7,000 SC Veterans Stolen -

VA: Laptop With Private Information Of 7,000 SC Veterans Stolen

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More than 7,000 South Carolina veterans are receiving notice this week their private information, including social security numbers and medical records, may have been compromised.  According to officials with the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, a laptop containing the information was stolen from the respiratory department at the hospital in early February.  The computer contained names, social security numbers, ages, race, weight, and medical test results for 7,405 patients.

Vietnam vet Jim Beasley, of Greenville, was one of them.  "I'm upset," Beasley says, after receiving a letter from the VA Thursday.  "According to the letter, they just walked right into the pulmonary clinic, picked up a laptop, and right out the door they went with it," he says.  The 61 year old visits the Columbia facility at least twice a month for treatment.  "If I'm so important, and veterans are so important to this country, but it takes them two months to get a letter out, something's wrong."

The Veteran's Administration told Seven on your Side the reason they just issued the letter is because they needed time to determine how big the security breach was.  Medical Center director Rebecca Wiley said in a statement:  "Any time a Veteran's personal information may be compromised, we take the matter very seriously.  We are reaching out to every Veteran who may have been impacted."

As a precaution, the VA is offering a year of free credit monitoring to those affected.  Beasley believes it's not enough.  "All veterans want, just like me, is if I served, then take care of me," he says.  "This is not taking care of me."

Police have made no arrests in the case.  The stolen laptop has still not been recovered.

If you think you have been impacted and have not received a letter, officials are asking that you call (803) 776-4000 extension 7692.

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