Local Wounded War Veteran Receives Surprise Donation Of $20,000

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — When the Local Wounded Veterans Committee first reached out to veteran Armando Castro he thought the organization had contacted him to help other military service members just like him, but he was in for a surprise.

Castro was chosen to receive a check for $20,000.

"I wasn't sure what to expect," Castro said. "They told me where to go and I just showed up and I'm just grateful. I'm just happy to be a part of it and especially to be on the receiving end, it's great."

Castro was in Iraq in a vehicle that got caught by a bomb putting an end to his tour of duty.

He underwent more than 30 surgeries and has been retired for four years, but things haven't been easy.

"Today, I feel like this was a little bit of luck. A lot of things had to go right for me to get this and it just happened to fall in the right place," Castro said.

The Local Wounded Veteran Committee was started seven years ago. It raises money through various fundraisers and donates the funds to wounded vets in the area.

"We get these clients in from every veterans organization and say, 'hey do you know anybody that needs some help?'" Jimmy Christie, Chairman of the Local Wounded Veteran Committee.

In that time the organization has given away more than $80,000.

"He couldn't find work because he could not function," Christie said. "Now he's struggling with a wife and two kids and he's our man."

Castro says this money is going to be a big help.

"I don't show it in the face very well, but I'm extremely happy. I'm just so thankful that they chose me," Castro said.

The Local Wounded Veteran Committee also donated $1,000 to the Fort Smith National Cemetery and $1,000 to Avenue of Flags.

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