LAKE ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Paul Bargowski’s life took a horrific turn in April 2011. That’s when the Army veteran lost his foot in an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan.
It has been a struggle with the Veterans Administration ever since.
Paul, his wife Rebekah, and their 11 children now live in Lake St Louis in St Charles County
The Bargowskis called FOX 2 after the VA wouldn’t live up to its promise to help them pay for a vehicle to get around.
It’s a fight his wife Rebekah couldn’t believe.
“We’re tired. You can only ask for so much help and you don’t know what to do,” she said. “…There’s just so much stress that I can’t handle any more and I didn’t know who to turn to.”
Paul is not only shocked by all this but feels forgotten as well.
“They’re supposed to be helping veterans but when I try to get help, (I) don’t really get any from them,” he said. “From what I heard, people said that dealing with VA takes time but I didn’t think it would take this much time for something that was already approved.”
Rebekah says the Wounded Warrior Project came throught a $25,000 donation toward the cost of the vehicle. The VA had vowed to help. In a March 17, 2017 letter obtained by FOX 2, the VA said, “We have approved your application for financial assistance in purchasing an automobile,” promising more than $20,000 toward the purchase of a vehicle, “plus the cost of certain adaptive equipment.”
But no money ever came from VA. The Bargowskis had to take out a costly loan to pay for the $57,000 vehicle. They say that loan is crushing the family budget. They fell behind on payments and are in danger of losing it.
FOX 2 reached out to the VA. On Monday, a spokesman told him the VA was working on the issue after we brought to their attention. They vowed to work out the problem and even try to get him a van.
But Paul and Rebekah say they’ve heard promises before. They say they’ll believe it when they see it.