ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – The Veterans Administration (VA) has finally given the $20,000 it promised to pay years ago to a disabled Army veteran for an SUV.
Paul Bargowski’s family called FOX 2 for help after the issue dragged on for years with no action, landing them in a financial mess over the vehicle.
Paul and his wife Rebekah live in Lake St. Louis in St. Charles County with their 11 children. They said it’s been a nightmare for the entire family, but when FOX 2 got involved, there was finally some relief.
“Relief, I can breathe a little. Anxiety has lifted as of right now, relief,“ Rebekah said.
Paul was seriously injured in 2011 when he served in Afghanistan. His vehicle hit an IED, and he lost his foot. He has spent years in surgery.
The Wounded Warrior Project gave Paul $25,000 towards a new vehicle. The VA sent the family a letter approving their request for financial help with the car and pledged to send $20,000. However, they never sent the money.
The Bargowski’s had to get a loan on their own to get the vehicle. They still thought VA money would come. Rebecca said it was frustrating for the family. They feared the vehicle would be repossessed, so they reached out to FOX 2 for help.
We called the VA in St. Louis and Washington D.C. The VA sent an email saying, “We apologize for the delay in the processing of Mr. Bargowski’s application for adaptive equipment. We have expedited the request to have the owed funds paid on behalf of Mr. Bargowski.”
Rebekah said it was hard to believe when they found out VA is sending the money to them.
”So many people have said that they would be able to help. Everything was falling through, nothing had ever changed. We always fought for ourselves,” she said. “We have promises that have been broken. We had no faith in anything. But after you came along, just the one story alone. I was shock and kind of still in amazement.”
Paul said he thanked FOX 2 for helping them.
“You have a lot of voice. You were able to get something done way better than we ever could,” he said.