AMELIA, Ohio - The community is standing behind an Iraq war veteran after a fire destroyed his family’s home.
Lance Corporal Donald Schwab’s first deployment to Iraq ended unexpectedly.
“We were on a convoy and a roadside bomb detonated and it blew up my truck,” said Schwab. “I ended up getting some shrapnel and traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage.”
That was April 2004. Now, the Purple Heart recipient finds himself in a new battle right here at home.
“I tried to save a few nickels and it cost me everything,” Schwab said.
Donald and his two young daughters, Haley and Brianna, were sleeping on the living room couch the morning of July 27 when a fire ripped through their Batavia home.
“I woke up and smelled the smoke, we ran out the door,” Schwab said. “The energy-saver light bulb that I had in my closet shorted out and a spark had shot out and caught my closet on fire.”
The veteran said what wasn’t lost in the fire was lost to smoke and water damage.
“The toughest thing is military stuff I lost,” Schwab said. “Like my pictures and some of the stuff I brought back, souvenirs and what not.”
Now duty calls for local citizens.
“I think he did something nice for us going to Afghanistan and now we want to do something for him,” said Tracy Luginbuhl, owner Campbell’s Barn in Amelia.
Wednesday night, 15 percent of the proceeds at Campbell’s Barn restaurant were donated to the family to help get them back on their feet. Schwab said the kindness of others is indescribable.
“Thank you,” the soldier said with a tear in his eye. “I mean that's not enough obviously but we appreciate it... we really do.”
If you would like to help out the Schwab family, there are many types of donations needed which can be given through Campbell’s Barn restaurant in Amelia, Ohio.
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