Wounded veteran’s family says they’re struggling after his disappearance and arrest

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DENVER -- Cory Hixson is a Marine veteran and father of two who was badly wounded and lost an eye during two tours in Iraq.

His wife Shala showed us awards he's received like the Purple Heart and other commendations but she says he's left with physical and mental wounds.

"He's frail as an old man who is sick," she told us, adding that Cory has lost more than 40 pounds.

His wife took a photo of him in bed in a private hospital Wednesday night while they waited to hear from Veterans Affairs.

“I was stunned when the doctor and the nurses came by and said that they heard back from the VA and they have no room for him. They have no bed.”

Hixon's family said he had a breakdown Saturday night, leaving their Broomfield apartment with no shoes or coat.

It sparked a police search before he was arrested Monday in Greeley for stealing a sweater from an open garage to stay warm.

The District Attorney's office worked with the family to get his bond reduced and he may get burglary charges reduced as well.

"I sat at the hospital doubting the system that should be in place for people like my husband and other veterans.”

"He just needs treatment. That's all he wants. We don't want this public spotlight,” Shala said.

She held up a stack of paperwork to show us how they've been struggling with VA benefits which are not expected to be finalized until 2018.

"We already have problems with his benefits that have been in process for two years."

"What happens now that if we get this huge bill slammed on us because it's not VA covered?” Shala wondered. "We don't know what will be covered and what won't."

Jen Graves, who went to high school with the Hixsons in Craig, Colorado started a gofundme page for the family.

"We've done this to him by asking him to step for us and then he doesn't have a priority in the system to get help. That's very heartbreaking to me,” Graves said.

Frustrated, Shala reached out to Senator Cory Gardner asking for help because she said the Senator once told her husband during a visit to Craig that he would be there for their family.

"He specifically told my husband if you ever need any help I'll remember you because I'm a Cory too you just let me know. "

"This isn't how you treat your veterans and their families,” she said.

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