EATON RAPIDS, Mich. – The National Foreign War Veterans Children’s Home in Eaton Rapids has been sued by two veterans alleging misconduct by an employee of the home that was not treated adequately by staff.
The lawsuits claim that in order to avoid deportation, they had to attend weekly meetings with a liaison mentor named Benjamin Marosi, who they say lied about being a veteran and allegedly drank from alcohol and crack in front of them and allegedly tried to push on them too.
Daniel Cherrin, spokesperson for the VFW National Home for Children, said they informed the police of the activities taking place on their campus once they learned about the issues and opened an investigation into the activities that violated their code of conduct.
“Veteran status is very sacred to our organization. The VFW National Home for Children serves as a living memorial to American veterans by helping the families of the country’s military and veterans through difficult times,” Cherrin said in an email. “A former employee misled us about his status as a veteran and violated our trust and the trust of our families who worked with him.”
Denver Dalton, a Purple Heart Iraq War veteran, moved to VFW’s facility in Eaton Rapids with his family in 2018 from Tennessee. Army veteran Robert Marvin who has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan moved with his family to the facility in the spring of 2015. Both suffer from severe post-traumatic stress disorder according to the lawsuit and hoped the programs offered. at home would help them with their PTSD.
According to documents, the VFW would conduct periodic reviews and Dalton and Marvin were threatened with deportation if they did not succeed, although it was never clear what their goals were or what they needed to do right.
The men were to attend weekly meetings with Marosi, but at many of those meetings he used alcohol and crack, according to the lawsuit, and imposed drugs and alcohol on veterans.
Both men tried to stop attending the meetings but were both threatened with deportation if they did not attend.
According to documents, because of Marosi’s actions, Dalton and Marvin relapsed into their sobriety and their PTSD was exacerbated.
Dalton and Marvin went to then VFW House chairman Fred Puffenberger about Marosi, but say they were told to remain silent and not release any information until the VFW can find a resolution according to the documents.
The documents also indicate that Puffenberger pulled out Marosi’s personal file in front of Marvin and it was discovered that a background check had never been performed for Marosi.
The document mentions the quote “Mr. Puffenberger said he could not understand why the personal file of the accused Marosi was so small given that all employees were supposed to undergo extensive background checks.
Puffenberger’s LinkedIn page says he retired from home this month.
The lawsuits say the pair feared Marosi was trying to hurt or hurt them, but the establishment did not take them seriously. When Marosi found out that Dalton had denounced him, Marosi made death threats against him, according to the lawsuit.
Marvin and his family stayed at hotels and a local campground due to their fear of Marosi, while Dalton and his family stayed in a campground for over 45 days.
Dalton changed the locks on their residence where they still keep their belongings out of fear of Marosi, but this led to an eviction notice from the VFW.
FOX47 News has contacted Marosi but he could not be reached for comment. We also contacted Chelsea Lenard, the lawyer for the veterans and their families, but she declined to discuss the case.
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