Veteran’s family says his disappearance over weekend caused by poor VA care

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- It was just after 9:20 p.m. Saturday at Cory Hixon's Broomfield apartment when his family says the 33-year-old became distraught and jumped off a balcony wearing no shoes and no coat, disappearing into the night.

Two days later, as family watched and waited desperately for news, police with tracking dogs searched the area where they believe he might have gone.

“He's trying to leave so that he's no longer a burden to our family, which he's not,” said Cory’s wife, Shala Hixon.

During two combat tours in Iraq, the decorated U.S. Marine lost an eye during a firefight and suffered a traumatic brain injury from a mortar round that left him unconscious.

The injuries left the father of two young children with severe memory loss, anxiety, migraines and post traumatic stress disorder.

His wife says a change in his medication made him act erratically.

The family moved from the Western Slope to the Denver area to be closer to the Veterans Affairs Hospital.

“We've moved here and we've lost everything in order to get him help for his TBI, and the VA continues to not help my husband and several other veterans,” said Shala, fighting back tears.

Somehow, the survivalist-trained Marine ended up in a Greeley jail Monday after stealing a sweater and something to eat. He still wasn't wearing shoes.

But Hixon's father-in-law, Steve Halcomb, says the story is far from over.

“Thank God he’s OK and everything, but we've got to do more for our veterans here," Halcomb said. "This system is so messed up right now. He's not getting the right medications, he's up and down on his medications and that's what's causing this stuff and he needs help. All these veterans do, we need to take care of them.”

He believes police should have launched an immediate search instead of waiting more than 24 hours on a missing persons report.

“It's sad that people go -- they prepare them to go to the war -- but they don't prepare them to come home and they sure don't take care of them when they're home,” Shala Hixon said.

The family was still waiting to hear from a judge about setting bond for Hixon's release Monday night.

They say police told them he was completely disoriented when they took him into custody.

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