MANTECA (CBS13) – Like so many other Americans, Sam Johnson wants to buy a home, but using a VA loan has presented a battle this war veteran wasn’t ready for.

A Desert Storm veteran, Johnson served our country for four years. On this Veteran’s Day, he’s focused on what it means to live the American dream. That for him means owning a home in Manteca.

“Just to be able to have pride and own the things that I own, own a home,” he said.

But that dream still hasn’t come true. For two years, Sam has looked at more than 100 homes and wanted to put in bids on 20, but the banks wouldn’t accept his offer because he’s using a VA loan.

“It’s just frustrating while you look at a home and then you want to make an offer and they tell you, ‘We don’t even want to see your offer,'” he said, ‘because you’re going to use a VA loan.’ To not even have a chance, you know?”

A VA loan allows veterans to put zero down and not pay mortgage insurance, similar to an FHA loan, but some buyers and some banks reject them because they’re not a conventional loan.

“Without the VA loan, I don’t think I could afford a home,” Sam said.

So for now, he is living with his sister and her family, hoping that soon his American dream will come true.

“You want to be able to stand on your own and it just gets frustrating and you’ve worked for benefits,” he said.

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