A 100-year-old treasure, a veteran who was once paralyzed by a bullet and a man who says he is right and the judge is wrong. What do they have in common?

They refused to give up and then turned to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser for a little assistance.

100 years old, think about that.

Vangie Commeau was probably born before every single person watching TV right now.

Vangie Commeau: “Plan it, it just happens.”

Vangie has seen a lot of things since her birth in the 1920s, but she had never been hit with a problem like this.

Vangie Commeau: “I don’t want to make a ruckus. That’s not my purpose.”

At Vangies Condo all the residents have a decal on the side of their car to open the gate to the complex.

Vangie doesn’t drive and asked for the decal on a plastic card to allow her to get in when a friend takes her to run errands.

Her condo board said no.

Vangie Commeau: “I have no reason to see why they can’t do this for me. That’s why I am standing up for myself.”

Vangie refused to give up and asked us to help.

The board wouldn’t budge for us either. Our story aired, the reaction was disgust with the condo board, and they quickly gave Vangie an easy way to get into the complex.

Vangie Commeau: “When I came back, it was such a delight to have the freedom to enter my home.”

Vangie fought, Vangie refused to give up, and Vangie won.

Vangie Commeau: “It was a privilege to meet you. I feel like I have made friends. Thank you, thank you so much…
take care, God bless you. Have a great day, see you later.”

Vangie battled a board, James is battling a judge.

James Brown: “Judge is wrong. Yeah, she is wrong.”

James Brown and the judge just don’t see eye to eye on the law.

James Brown: “She don’t like me cause I told her she was wrong and she needed to step aside.”

James’ mother left her house to James and his brother. After the brother passed away, his grandson said he owned half of James’ house, not what my mother’s will said, replied James.

James Brown: “I have full power over the whole estate according to her will, according to her writing on the will.”

James fought in hand-written filings, but the judge ruled his brother’s grandson did own half the house.

James’ reply? See ya back in court.

James Brown: “Judge is wrong. Yeah, she is wrong. I got to appeal to a higher court.”

James says he will never give up, neither would Matt.

Matt Coplan: “I am 100 percent disabled vet.”

Patrick Fraser: “Are you proud of what you did for your country?”

Matt Coplan: “Oh, hell yeah.”

Matt was shot in the spine in the Vietnam war.

Matt Coplan: “They didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to walk again.”

With sheer determination Matt learned to walk again.

Now, as he gets older, he wanted to enclose a porch for equipment to exercise since his body is starting to break down.

He applied for permits.

Matt Coplan: “It was the disabled veterans that informed me of the law.”

Florida law says a 100 percent disabled veteran doesn’t have to pay for permits to improve their homes for their safety, but city officials said Matt had to pay $1400 for permits.

Matt Coplan: “They are ignorant of the law, and that’s no excuse.”

Matt paid but refused to give up and asked us to help get the money for permits back, we did.

Matt Coplan: “I wanted to thank Patrick, Channel 7, everybody for their support.“

And typical of a veteran who was determined to walk again, Matt says he didn’t keep fighting the city just for himself, but he helped every disabled veteran in South Florida.

Matt Coplan: “From the contractor and the cities and especially the veterans to understand this is a benefit that we all have and we need to have it granted to us.”

Never give up.

If you think you are right, never give up, and if you aren’t getting anywhere, you know where to find us ‘cause if you have a problem that’s aging you, we are veterans at fighting for you.

Open the gate for us to come in, and you be the judge if we are helping you.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

Copyright 2022 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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