Community rallies to help Belen vet after house burns down

New Mexico

BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – A Belen veteran, down on his luck, has captured the hearts of the community after losing everything. Now, people are rallying to help him get back on his feet.

Daniel Romero is a Marine veteran who served in Vietnam. He was born and raised in Belen. After the war, he moved around the country. In 2005, he came back to Belen to settle down.

“My grandmother passed away and left me her house,” he says.

Today, his house can barely stand on its own.

“It had pretty well burned everything, clothing, everything. Completely everything,” he says.

To make matters worse, the motor home he got to replace his burned down home also caught on fire. After losing both his homes in a span of a few months last year, a friend stepped in to help.

“We put a roof over his head there because Thanksgiving he got kind of snowed out of here,” says Frank Baca.

Baca says he couldn’t stand to see a New Mexican veteran going through this hard time alone. He shot a cell phone video of Romero, explaining the story of his life.

That video got the attention of the Board of Directors at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial.

“The typical programs provided by the city, by the state, by the VA, don’t necessarily match his needs,” says Michael Burd.

That’s why Burd started a GoFundMe page hoping to raise $7,000 for Romero, who can’t help but feel grateful.

“I really felt really hopeless and really didn’t know where to turn until he came along,” he says.

The New Mexico Veterans Memorial is hoping to get enough money to buy Romero another trailer. It will also go towards getting water and electricity for the property.

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