Military veterans help veteran displaced by Muskogee fire

MUSKOGEE -- He fought for our country, now a veteran is fighting to get back on his feet after Thursday's fire at the Fair Haven Manor damaged his home.
 
"It floured me, it just made me sick to my stomach," said veteran Shawn Messer.
 
Messer got the call around 2 p.m. Thursday that his apartment in Muskogee was on fire.
 
"My heart dropped, everything went black," said Messer.
 
The Marine Corps veteran's life was finally in the right place. After going through a divorce and being homeless, he finally had a place to call home.
 
"I was enjoying my life, having my own apartment, just knowing that I did this," said Messer.
 
He may be going through another tough obstacle, but he's not alone. Messer is a volunteer at a veterans recovery facility in Muskogee called The Barracks. For the last few months he's been painting and bringing the home to life.
 
When his family at The Barracks heard the news about the fire, they dropped everything to help.
 
SOT -- VICTOR LEZAMA director and founder of the barracks
"We got in our trucks, went over there, and started throwing stuff off the second deck and plastic bags, helped him get as much as we could," said Victor Lezama, Director and Founder of The Barracks.
 
The quick actions tugged at Messer's heart strings.
 
"Our motto is 'veterans helping veterans', they didn't hesitate," said Messer. 
 
 
Messer tells Two Works For You that this fire is already a thing in the past, and he's not going to let it knock him down.
 
 
"There's no real reason to just give up, I'm not a quitter," said Messer.
 
Members of The Barracks say Messer is the perfect example of a veteran who helped himself get his life on track, then helped others when he was stable, so now it's their turn to step in. 
 
"Shawn is one of those individuals who have given so much to us and it's the least we can do to help him back," said Lezama.
 
Messer is set to become the Facility Officer at The Barracks, and live there permanently to watch over the building around the clock.
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