Sevier County veteran denied passport because of birth certifica

Sevier County veteran denied passport because of birth certificate mistake

Posted:
“My mother’s name was correct, my father’s name was correct and my birth date was correct. The only thing was, I didn’t know who Ernest Ruppert was,” Craig Ruppert explained. “My mother’s name was correct, my father’s name was correct and my birth date was correct. The only thing was, I didn’t know who Ernest Ruppert was,” Craig Ruppert explained.
The birth certificate says his name is Ernest Ruppert when in fact his name is Craig Vincent Ruppert. Apparently the doctor accidentally put his own first name on the birth certificate. It was a problem he noticed when he enlisted back in 1943. The birth certificate says his name is Ernest Ruppert when in fact his name is Craig Vincent Ruppert. Apparently the doctor accidentally put his own first name on the birth certificate. It was a problem he noticed when he enlisted back in 1943.
Craig Ruppert joined the Navy in 1943 at age 17. (source: Craig Ruppert) Craig Ruppert joined the Navy in 1943 at age 17. (source: Craig Ruppert)
By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - A World War II veteran reached out to 6 News for help after he was denied a passport all because of a mistake on his birth certificate.

“That’s me back in 1943,” Craig Ruppert said as he pointed to a picture hanging on his wall of him dressed in uniform when he joined the Navy at age 17.

The 88-year-old veteran has been planning a fishing trip with his two sons for months.

“I said I’ll foot the bill, this might be our last chance. I’ve got a deposit on a place up in Canada for the end of June,” explained Ruppert.

When he went to apply for a passport, he hit a roadblock. The problem is his birth certificate from 1925.

“My mother’s name was correct, my father’s name was correct and my birth date was correct. The only thing was, I didn’t know who Ernest Ruppert was,” he explained.

The birth certificate says his name is Ernest Ruppert when in fact his name is Craig Vincent Ruppert. Apparently the doctor accidentally put his own first name on the birth certificate. It was a problem he noticed when he enlisted back in 1943.

“I spent three years in the Navy in the Pacific,” he said.

When he enlisted, he said an officer reviewed his birth certificate and declared Ernest and Craig were one and the same. Seventy years later, those military documents aren’t enough to get Mr. Ruppert a passport. He reached out to the American Legion, who were able to get in touch with someone from the State Department.

“The gentlemen said it was really easy to rectify. Have the doctor make an amendment to the birth certificate,” said Dave Howard with the Sevier County American Legion.

There's a slight problem. The doctor has been dead for several decades and so are his parents.

“The guy said, 'Well, what about his parents? They can verify his identity.' I told the guy to stop reading from his computer and think for a minute,” said Howard in frustration.

The roadblock is there is no one alive to verify Craig Ruppert is, in fact, Craig Ruppert.

“We looked up census records, and there are no records from 1925 in Hamilton County,” said Howard. “He wants to go fishing in Canada with his sons before he passes away and he hits a road block.”

6 News reached out to Congressman Phil Roe who represents Ruppert’s district. They have now called Mr. Ruppert and are working with him to get the problem fixed. They say they deal with passport issues on a regular basis, but each one is different.

Ruppert is simply frustrated that his records were sufficient to send him overseas, but not sufficient for a fishing trip to Canada.

“If they can’t accept your military records, your honorable discharge, I don’t know what to do,” said Ruppert.

The hope is Congressman Roe’s office can figure out something before the June fishing trip.
Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.