Editor's Note

By Bob Cohn

On September 24, Recession Road Trip wrote about Charles Zimmerman, a 60-year-old former soldier who, together with his wife, was newly homeless in Sacramento. Zimmerman had been the subject of a post a week earlier that described his efforts to get the military to pay him his pension, which he said had been caught in red tape for years. Now, we reported, in the aftermath of our first post, Zimmerman said he had been approached by an Army official who promised him a check for $972,000, back pay for the 18 years since his retirement.

Shortly after the September 24 post, we were doing follow-up reporting on Mr. Zimmerman's story in preparation for a new post. During this process, we became concerned about some aspects of his account. On October 19, we posted an update (scroll to bold type) describing these concerns and detailing the new efforts we were taking to verify our previous posts. Those efforts are still underway, and we will report back fully when we have satisfactory answers. In the meantime, we can confirm that Mr. Zimmerman did serve in the Army, but not that he has been promised or has received any new pension payments as a result of his service.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2009/11/editors-note/29694/