An Army veteran who was recently released by a VA hospital in Madison, Wisconsin was recently found dead of hypothermia in a parking garage.

On New Years’ Eve, 57-year-old Vance Perry — who had been released from the Madison Veterans hospital without hospital workers waiting to see if a car picked him up — was found wearing just a light jacket in the garage, when temperatures the night before were as low as seven degrees below zero.

Temperature data for Madison, Wisconsin on December 30, 2017 — the night before Vance Perry was found dead. (Data by Weather Underground)

Perry was originally picked up by a Disabled American Veterans van for a routine appointment for Perry’s paranoid schizophrenia, though hospital officials told local media they were baffled as to why Perry didn’t take the taxi they called for him following his appointment.

“We are terribly saddened to learn of the loss of this veteran. Prior to his death, he voluntarily checked out of our facility, which had no grounds to prevent him forcibly from doing so,” said hospital spokesman Paul Rickert in a public statement.

However, Perry’s daughter, Erika, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, told WCNC that hospital officials didn’t watch to make sure he got in a car after leaving their care.

“[T]here is video footage showing my dad wandering off with no escort,” Erika Perry said. ”It’s negligence.”

Vance Perry’s death comes on the heels of Wisconsin shutting down two of its three veterans’ homes in 2017 due to federal budget cuts. The Wisconsin Department of Veterans’ Affairs told local media it was transitioning the 47 veterans in the two homes that were slated for closure to temporary transition housing. It’s not clear whether or not Perry ever stayed in the homes.

By contrast, 2017 was one of the best years ever for the rich, largely due to soaring stock prices. the Nasdaq increased by 28 percent last year, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average growing by 25 percent, and the S&P 500 growing by 19 percent. On December 29th — the last day of trading for 2017 — the Dow Jones closed at 24,719.22.


Jordan Shaw is a New Jersey-based freelancer specializing in national and state government issues. When he’s not writing, you can find him volunteering in Camden, New Jersey, or hiking the Wissahickon Valley Park.

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