PEYTON, Colo. — The southern Colorado community is always finding creative ways to give back to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. On Thursday, one veteran, Israel Del Toro, got a surprise from a few local businesses.
“I’m really speechless. I really am. I’m very grateful for the kindness of others like that,” said Del Toro, as he watched crews lay a new roof over his home for free.
A hail storm ruined his roof, ripping shingles off and damaging cars in the driveway, over Memorial Day weekend. While Del Toro was looking for recommendations, local roofers remembered his story of sacrifice and it served as an inspiration.
“That’s 20-thousand dollars plus. I’m amazed they wanted to do something like that. It’s an awesome feeling because it really does relieve stress,” said Del Toro.
“I remember watching him on the ESPYS and just his story was incredible. I’ve always wanted to do something like this,” said Dalton Drury, project manager with Drury Brothers Roofing. “Do what we can while the moment is here, and help out when we can.”
Del Toro’s story is giving a reason for these local roofers to give back. Drury Bros Roofing is donating their time, installing the roof. The materials were brought in by American Roofing Supply.
“An opportunity like this for us to come out and give something to Israel del Toro who has an amazing story, incredible background as a veteran,” said Neil Trujillo, branch director of American Roofing Supply.
Del Toro’s service in the Air Force started when he was 22. He was a Tactical Air Control Party Specialist, calling in airstrikes and working closely with special forces in the military.
“I was in Afghanistan and I got hit by an IED. We were coming back from a mission and it exploded under me. I ended up receiving third-degree burns on 80 percent of my body. And I obviously lost fingers,” said Del Toro.
After being in a coma for four months, doctors told him he wouldn’t walk again, would need a respirator for the rest of his life, and that his military career was over.
“And I never was going to accept that. I loved to serve. And my spark was my son. He was the fire that drove me. And he drove me to keep pushing,” said Del Toro.
Two months later, Del Toro was walking and breathing on his own. But his drive and determination didn’t stop there.
“And finally in February on 2010, I became the first fully disabled airmen to re-enlist in the Air Force. And now I’m here, still trying to help people by going around speaking to them. And use my story as a way to help them,” said Del Toro.
This time around, Del Toro is getting help instead of giving help.
“He saved so many lives and everything. If we can save him some money, it’s just a huge opportunity for us to be able to do this,” said Trujillo.
“It’s almost like these guys are taking care of me,” said Del Toro.