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Volunteers help Vietnam veteran living in car after Harvey

Fellowship Story Showcase

Volunteers help Vietnam veteran living in car after Harvey

Picture of Marina Riker
Amilcar Heredia, Eduardo Assef, Robert Santos and Isaac Fonseca stand outside Reynaldo Garza’s home after cleaning up debris in
Amilcar Heredia, Eduardo Assef, Robert Santos and Isaac Fonseca stand outside Reynaldo Garza’s home after cleaning up debris in late September.
(Photo: Debbie Montalvo)
Victoria Advocate
Monday, October 1, 2018

After learning about a Vietnam veteran who moved into his car after Hurricane Harvey, volunteers from the Texas Gulf Coast jumped in to help him clean up his home.

The Victoria Advocate reported last week that Reynaldo Garza, 70, is living in his 2002 Ford Expedition after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on his Woodsboro home. In response to the story, four men from Corpus Christi volunteered to help Debbie Montalvo, who works for a Refugio nonprofit, clean up the veteran’s yard, which still looked as if the storm hit yesterday — not a year ago.

Reynaldo Garza leans against his 2002 Ford Expedition. The 70-year-old purchased the SUV to escape from the heat and and have a place to sleep parked in front of his Hurricane destroyed home in Woodsboro. Garza said he used $3,000 FEMA gave him to rebuild his home, to purchase a trailer home, which was later damaged in a different storm.

Montalvo, along with Amilcar Heredia, Eduardo Assef, Robert Santos and Isaac Fonseca, hauled four truckloads of materials to the dump after cleaning his yard Saturday. Now, Montalvo is working to find a recreational vehicle to serve as a temporary home for Garza.

To help the veteran, contact Montalvo at the Refugio County Volunteer Reception Center at 361-230-1154 or refugiovolunteers@gmail.com.

[This story was originally published by Victoria Advocate.]