Two local veterans receive $5,000 thanks to generous donation

Charity founder Debbie Lee, who presented the check, said she founded America's Mighty Warriors because of her own son's sacrifice.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - The founder of America's Mighty Warriors presented a $50,000 check Wednesday to Church Unlimited Pastor Bil Cornelius.

Charity founder Debbie Lee, who presented the check, said she founded America's Mighty Warriors because of her own son's sacrifice.

"My son was the first Navy Seal that was killed in Iraq, and he wrote an amazing letter that talked about doing more random acts of kindness and how we could change our world," Lee said.

"They reached out to us because they saw what we were doing to help people through the hurricane down in Rockport. We've been there and Aransas Pass and Port Aransas helping people, and they said, 'You know what? This is a church on the ground really doing it,' and she happened to know there's a lot of veterans in this area," Cornelius said.

Cornelius said his church's volunteers working in the area found two veterans who lost everything.

One veteran named Seth Holcroft, a local handyman and contractor in Rockport, said he hopes to rebuild his business to help others in the community.

The other was Alex Leal, a Rockport police officer who lost his home during Hurricane Harvey but continued to come to work day after day to help others with relief efforts.

Both Holcroft and Leal received $5,000 thanks to the generous donation.

"We are so excited to be partnering with you to be able to do this and make a difference in the lives of our veterans and other families who've lost a loved one," Lee said.

Cornelius said there was a special connection between Leal and Lee's son.

"One of the veterans that we gave the check to happened to go through BUDS about the same time her son did. So it was really neat to see her talking with him. You could just see this connection because this young man was about her son's age, and so it was really special to see her, just that twinkle in her eye kind of come back for a moment as she thought, 'I'm really helping someone that is just like my son,'" Cornelius said.

Leal said he was grateful for the gift and to be recognized as a veteran in need.

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