Posted: 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014

Community rallies support for veteran shot in Antioch


Brandon DelFiorentino photo
Brandon DelFiorentino

By Allie Rasmus

ANTIOCH, Calif. —

A local veterans group is rallying the community’s support to help an Iraq war veteran gravely injured by gunfire near his Antioch home last week.

Brandon DelFiorentino and his wife received their Antioch home two years ago, mortgage-free, through a program organized by the Military Warriors Support Foundation.

Now, DelFiorentino’s friends are rallying the community's support once again. This time, the cause is more somber. He’s recovering from multiple gunshot wounds in an East Bay Hospital.

“He comes home after serving our country, thinking that he's safe, and he's walking home and he gets shot. How can you imagine that?” Josie Monaghan, founder of East County Veterans Resource Center, said.

The young father and Purple Heart recipient survived three tours of duty in Iraq.

Early Friday morning, DelFiorentino, or "Del" as he and his friends call him, was walking back from the store. Just a few blocks away from his home, he yelled at a speeding car to slow down.

“Apparently they turned around and opened fire on him,” Monaghan said.

Monaghan created a Facebook support page for DelFiorentino and an account for donations at the Mechanics Bank in Pittsburg, but there's something else she's asking for. The idea for it came from her own family experience. Monaghan's son is also a combat Marine veteran.

“When they're in Iraq they love letters from home, because it keeps them together,” she said.

“I'd love for the community and kids and families to write letters, draw pictures, color, write encouraging words.”

Monaghan said it is her goal to bring “boxes and boxes” of hand-made cards and letters to DelFiorentino, to decorate his hospital room.

“If your mind and your body and spirit are well, you're going to heal better,” she said.

Monaghan said she's been in contact with DelFiorentino's family. They told her he's undergone several surgeries.

His condition is improving, but he's still in intensive care. Monaghan said the financial and emotional support from the community will help him with what will likely be a months-long recovery process.

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