Locals raise money, food, to help veteran on Christmas

Locals raise money, food, to help veteran on Christmas

WEST ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Shawn Delfino is a military veteran who is accidentally in Odessa.

A few months ago, he was taking a trip to Kermit, to see the water tower that isn't there anymore.

Delfino then got stuck after some RV trouble and has been living in Odessa since.

"God's kind of weird that way, just kind of throwing people in your life," said Delfino. "When you need them and when you least expect it."

Delfino lives out of his RV, and the club he's been staying with, the messengers clubhouse.

Not even a week ago, Odessa Resident Ryan Simmons and his fiancee hatched an idea, to help out Delfino this Christmas.

"That morning I got up, I decided I wanted to help him," said Simmons. "Somehow, some way. So I came up with the challenge. I was going to donate $10 and challenge everyone that I knew to match my donation. I've had people match my donation and all the way up to triple my donation and even more."

The veteran, had no idea of the donation was coming, said his reaction was that of pure joy, even if he is bad at showing it, .

"I'm floored," said Delfino. "I might not have an outward emotion going on but man I'm floored. My head is like spinning and trying to wrap around what just happened because I got duped. I seriously got duped. I never saw this coming. Not in a million years did I see anything like this coming."

Shawn is more than thankful, he said the out poor of support he's seen has given him hope.

"Thank you for your help," Delfino said. "Thank you for your love and your compassion for outsiders. It's amazing to just walk into a group of people and instantly be loved."

Shawn said this, along with the weather compared to his home state of Indiana, has encouraged him to think about staying here permanently.

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