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Veteran bringing other veterans "Home at Last"

LAWTON, Okla._ The story of a veteran whose mission is to help other veterans.

Don Shelby served in Vietnam and three years ago found himself homeless. Since then has gotten back on his feet, and made it his mission to take care of his fellow veterans in need.

With his "Home at Last" project, Shelby is renovating three houses in Lawton that he hopes will soon be home to some local veterans.

"We need to show the veterans a 'thank you' for what they've done," Shelby said.

To do that, he has purchased three houses that he has fittingly nicknamed Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie.

"Got my disability from the VA, I'm 90-percent, and I took my check and used it for the down payment. Then my monthly check, I'm putting it back into the houses, and we're asking for donations too."

He and several other veterans have been gutting the houses the last few weeks.

Together, they plan to completely renovate each house. He says while the vets won't be able to stay for free, the houses will be a place to call home.

"For anybody to stay at the Salvation Army, you have to pay $70 a week, so it's going to run them about $300 a month to stay here, but that includes food and individual rooms and that kind of thing."

Once completed the houses will be home to 7 veterans, but Shelby said if the rooms don't get filled it won't bother him one bit.

"That means, we as a country, is doing something right for the veterans."

Shelby said there are many avenues of help for veterans, most just aren't aware they exist. He said it's his mission to help the lost one's get back on their feet.

"It's very important that they know that they're cared for and that we appreciate them.

These people are our heroes, they may not have a superman costume on, but they're our heroes, so we need to treat them like a hero."

Shelby estimates it will take about two years and $110,000 to complete the project. There is a GoFundMe set up to take donations. Shelby is also accepting household items, like gently used furniture. Shelby can be contacted via the “Home at Last” Facebook page.

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