Veteran’s widow wins Agent Orange benefits after years of fighting the VA

FOX Files
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS – A Vietnam veteran’s widow says she’s finally gotten the VA to admit her husband was exposed to Agent Orange.

She spoke with Fox 2 four years after first reporting her struggles to honor her husband’s dying wish.

“Don’t give up because that’s what they want,” said Netia Krieter.

After years of fighting for her husband John Krieter, Netia says the Department of Veterans Affairs has finally recognized that Agent Orange killed John.

“John would say, ‘Good job, Netia, because you promised me that you wouldn’t give up and you never gave up.’ I’m not going to tell you it was easy because there were times I’d get those (denial) letters and I just wanted it to be done,” she said.

Fox 2 first interviewed Netia Krieter in 2016 after she saw our Fox Files investigations into the VA denying Agent Orange exposures during the Vietnam War.

She never forgot what Bill Casto told us in 2016: “Deny, deny, deny until you die is what we say.”

Casto fought the VA for seven years before the government acknowledge he was exposed.

“You did a piece on a man that had been denied and denied and denied for disability. My husband was the same way,” Netia said. “It was like they were telling me his life didn’t matter and his service didn’t matter and it sometimes was like losing him all over again.”

John Krieter died in 2014, weeks after he walked his daughter down the aisle to get married. Netia Krieter says he promised to live long enough to have that moment with his daughter and that he asked Netia to promise she would never stop fighting for his disability benefits. 

“More than anything else, they had to take responsibility for him and what he went through,” she said. “And he went through a lot. He was sick. He lost all quality of life. And to have to watch somebody go through that, you can’t even put it into words how hard that is.”

Netia Krieter received a settlement from the VA and will get a monthly check for being an injured spouse.

Fox 2 also talked to Bill Casto again. He said he’s doing well and he feels good; he’s helping other veterans get VA benefits for Agent Orange exposure.

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.

About the FOX Files

The Fox Files are groundbreaking investigations you won’t see anywhere else. The series is well known for breaking the Pam Hupp story nationally. The reports that led to the exoneration of Russ Faria. But, it is far from the only time in which our investigations led to overturned convictions and freedom for the wrongfully accused. The Fox Files investigations do not fit into just one category, other than the fact our reports shine a light on issues and corruption in ways you won’t see anywhere else.

You won’t know what to expect as our reports often take twists that surprise even Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes.

“You never know where the truth will lead and you have to keep searching for it, even when you think you might be done,” Hayes said.

From getting arrested for trying to cover a public meeting, to getting law enforcement involved in his report about a daycare fight club, the Fox Files has been at the forefront of breaking news investigations in the St. Louis area.

It doesn’t stop just in St. Louis. The Pam Hupp/Russ Faria story took him to Lincoln County. Fox 2 was the first to report, nationally, on the synthetic drug epidemic when it began in St. Charles County, MO. In St. Louis County, our Fox Files reporting led to the dismantling of some police departments, including the departments of Uplands Park and Jennings. And in the City of St. Louis, our investigations led to swift government actions, such as our report that led to the Governor’s ordered shut down of a daycare.

Our reporting in St. Louis also led to former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ exclusive Fox Files interviews involving his court fight to oust the chief prosecutor while attempting to prove that political corruption led to an illegal overturning of a state election.

“It’s not always bad news,” Hayes said about a recent victory for a restaurant in his coverage of a St. Clair County Illinois issue. A Fox Files report, exposing a health department’s mistake over the COVID-19 pandemic, led to an overturning of a decision, allowing the business to open for limited inside dining.

Another investigation took us to Madison County, where prosecutors praised Fox 2’s coverage while shutting down an illegal synthetic drug business – and to Monroe County, where we uncovered key evidence in the Chris Coleman murder trial.

Even the national media, continues reaching out to local affiliate Fox 2 KTVI and the Fox Files, for its work on cases that are important to St. Louis. When you see a network television’s coverage of St. Louis, you’ll often see that they gathered information that was first uncovered right here.


Latest News

More News