Disabled veteran denied chance to fulfill family dream

HAGERSTOWN, Md. --Many veterans depend on the VA for medical care. But some say that they are being denied a chance to fulfill their dreams because there is one battle wound for which the VA does not offer a solution.

After two and a half years in the hospital and 30 surgeries, Kevin Jaye is out of the army but still dealing with the VA.

"Another survey from the Department of Veterans Affairs of my mental health," he says, reading his mail to his fiance. "That will be fun."

Cleaning up the VA

He's classified as 100 percent disabled because a roadside bomb in Afghanistan cost him his right leg and severely damaged his left. He's learned to live with that, but there's another disability -- one he's not sure he can talk about on television.

"And then I lost...had injuries to," he stammers before being assured frankness was allowed.

"I lost my left testicle," Jaye said. "The right one was damaged."

The unmentionable wound young men dread the most.

"There goes essentially your manhood," he said. "Now what?"

But he had to tell Lauren Belliotti because he wanted to marry her.

"I was sad for him and then I was nervous for the future," said Belliotti.

Government refusing to pay for veterans' IVF treatment

Would they be able to have children of their own?

"To have our own biological family," she said. "That just means everything to us."

Their best chance is a procedure called in vitro fertilization, in which his sperm would be injected into her egg outside the womb. It's expensive -- up to $20,000 -- and frequently requires more than one try to work. And get this: There's a law that prohibits the VA from paying for in vitro fertilization because of concerns unused embryos might be discarded.

He was stunned when he found out the VA wouldn't cover it.

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Kevin Jaye and his wife, Lauren, wanted the Department of Veterans Affairs to cover in vitro fertilization, but they say the agency would not help them. CBS News

"I couldn't believe it, really," said Jaye. "This was something that happened in war and they do a great job of fixing everything else. I'm just baffled of why they can't really offer assistance with this."

With efforts to change the law stymied by the politics of abortion, Kevin and Lauren got married this weekend and made no secret of their dream.

"I am looking forward to every day that I have with you," said Belliotti in her wedding vows. "To watching us grow from just the two of us to the family that we've always dreamed of."

They will start fertility treatments right away, using her teacher's insurance to pay for it because the government that sent him to war will not.

  • David Martin

    David Martin is CBS News' National Security Correspondent.