Disabled WWII vet, 94, evicted from subsidized apartmentA 94-year-old World War II disabled veteran was evicted from his apartment in Port Wing, because in part, he won’t say what’s in his safe deposit box. After six months of trying to help Ken Nyreen, the Bayfield County Housing Authority had sheriff’s deputies evict him from his subsidized apartment earlier this month.
By: By Mike Simonson/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A 94-year-old World War II disabled veteran was evicted from his apartment in Port Wing, because in part, he won’t say what’s in his safe deposit box.
After six months of trying to help Ken Nyreen, the Bayfield County Housing Authority had sheriff’s deputies evict him from his subsidized apartment earlier this month.
County Aging Unit Supervisor Carrie Linder says the 94-year-old refused to disclose all of his assets, including the contents of his bank safe deposit box. So, Linder says, they couldn’t look the other way.
“If you do it for one, you do it for all, Linder said. “Is that going to keep the Housing Authority solvent? These are taxpayers dollars that we are stewards of.”
A Bayfield County Sheriff’s report to Circuit Court Judge John Anderson in Washburn confirmed the eviction was completed by Nov. 5.
Although Nyreen was offered a free hotel room, he chose to sleep on the floor of a local Port Wing tavern. He says the contents of his safe deposit box are no one’s business.
“Does anybody have a right?” Nyreen asked. “Why should I be forced to divulge my safe deposit box too? (And the safe deposit box, is that what you got for being injured in World War II?) “Well, I won’t even say what I have in there.”
Nyreen was stationed in England as a B-17 bomber crew chief during WWII, and lost some of his hearing when his ear drum was damaged during a test run. Today, he needs hearing aids and a special telephone to hear properly.
County Veteran’s Office Director Nancy Brede says they gave him seven choices of places to live, all away from Port Wing, but he refused.
“Yeah, it is a tough case,” Brede says. “I’ll do everything I can for him within my realm. When a person makes choices, and he’s his own person, I have to respect that.”
Nyreen is staying with an elderly widow in Port Wing now, so he’s safe. But this is only temporary. He’s hoping the Veteran’s Administration will take care of him.
“If I could find a VA place where I could have my own room and associate with other GI’s, I might consider something like that, Nyreen said. “But I don’t want them to put me in bed and forget me.”
Brede says that won’t happen. She’s still checking in on Mr. Nyreen.