An East Texas widow says her Air Force veteran husband died last week of Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS, after 4 years of trying to convince the Veteran Affairs (VA) that he was sick. Janie Michels said her husband, Bradley Michels, would do it all over again, if given the chance. “He absolutely loved his country. He said it was important to fight for our rights and our freedoms.” said Janie. Bradley served in the Air Force from 1986 to 1996. He was stationed in South Korea, Germany and Arizona. His tour ended in 1996, but his wife noticed changes in his health. “I noticed his health decline right after he got out of the military…right after he cleaned up after Desert Storm,” recalls Janie. “He started having neurological problems…he had a slurred voice sometimes, and he started having cramps in the balls of his feet that went into his knee and into his thigh.” Janie believed that these symptoms pointed to ALS. In 2010, they filed for disability benefits with the VA. The claim was denied twice. Their most recent appeal was filed a few months ago. Janie asked for ALS testing repeatedly, but Bradley’s doctor said no. “In the beginning, he said he didn’t know what was wrong,” said Janie. “After a lot of pushing, he said it was not ALS and that it was psychosomatic.” The Michels spent four years filing paperwork, going to doctor visits, and making calls to the VA. Then, three weeks ago, a neurologist agreed to test Bradley for ALS. The test came back positive, but his claim for benefits remained denied.