US Marine Veteran Harassed, Threatened with Eviction

Faye Higbee

Gerald Heath,64, is a US Marine Vietnam veteran who lives in Rocklin, California. He and his yellow lab Service Dog, Ottis, moved into an apartment across the street from US Marine Michelle Cushman. She contacted Uncle Sam’s to request help for him, because for a little over 2 months, his life has been a living hell. His upstairs neighbors and his manager have continually harassed and threatened him. And now he is afraid of them.

us marine veteran

Gerry Heath and Michelle Cushman


Agent Orange destroyed his health

While in Da Nang, Vietnam for over 11 months as a Bulk Fuelman,  Gerry came in contact with agent orange. He currently suffers from terminal cancer because of that exposure. Assistance from the VA (as usual) was too late to help him.


The harassment situation

According to Michelle:

“Gerry has terminal cancer and will probably not live out the year. Upstairs from him lives a low life couple who harass him. Gerry is a smoker and when the woman upstairs asked him not to smoke inside, he graciously said he would take it outside out of respect and for the sake of peace.

I see Gerry outside off and on all day while he’s walking Ottis.  He comes out to smoke well into the early morning hours. It is obvious he honors his word. The clincher is that the couple upstairs smoke too. Ridiculous right??

As far as the lease, there is zero verbiage about smoking. Gerry is well within his right to smoke inside if he choses to do so.”

Spraying air freshener in Jerry’s face

Two weeks ago, the woman upstairs sprayed him in the face with an aerosol chemical the minute he opened his front door. Police at that time refused to make an arrest or even issue a citation, in spite of the fact that using a chemical in someone’s face is at a minimum battery.

She spends an inordinate amount of time peering in his window, which has caused him to have to keep the blinds closed at all times. Both the woman and her boyfriend continually complain about the “smell” of Gerry’s apartment (which is not stinky, according to Michelle). They complain that even the smell of his coffee is making  their family “sick.”

At one time she wanted access to his apartment so she could put “air fresheners” in all the outlets. Needless to say, he declined.

Threat of eviction

Michelle:  “The office manager, Joy, said she was going to do what she could to evict Gerry on the grounds of being a ‘nuisance.’ She has no grounds to do so, but she evicted the last elderly woman who lived there for the same thing.

I can attest that the woman whom she evicted was a clean, nonsmoker, disabled woman who was kind, and loving. When confronted about Gerry’s military status, Joy the manager said she had family that had been in the military and also served in Vietnam. Yet she won’t even protect Gerry under Elder abuse laws.”

Harassment and name-calling

He has been called names by the couple, including using the term “white trash.” He said that he is at his wit’s end over the difficulties. He is afraid of what they will do, to him and/or his service dog. The only solution he sees is to have the manager give him another ground floor apartment in a different side of the complex.  Except that the manager “doesn’t manage.”

Joy the manager appears to be overly friendly with the woman above him. Gerry and Michelle both described the two as “buddy buddy.” They are concerned that there maybe something else going on with the issue rather than the two  just being “friends.”

Gerry is looking into a restraining order for his situation, and will be meeting with his sister this week.

Marines don’t leave a man behind

Gerry could use more support in this situation. He also could use visits from fellow Marines, particularly Vietnam Veterans. Michelle suggested a row of Marine bikers rolling into the neighborhood to let them know that US Marines never leave a man behind.

You can also call Joy the manager at: 916-784-3700.

Michelle stated,

Gerry’s last days should not be spent fighting to keep a roof over his head. He should not be in fear that the two living upstairs are going to physically hurt him in some way.