MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The McAllen community came together Monday to bring new life into a Rio Grande Valley veteran’s home by giving it a fresh coat of paint through Operation Veteran Paint Project.

Armored Painting is a local veteran-owned company that teamed up with South Texas College students and Sherwin Williams to hold a contest where veterans are nominated by friends and family to get their homes painted for free.

This year’s winner, Raudel Moreno, served in the U.S. Air Force from 1965 to 1971. He says he was taken by complete surprise and is grateful for the help he received.

“I didn’t know about it,” said Moreno. “My granddaughter said, ‘Grandpa, you won the contest!’, what contests are you talking about? Not too many people would appreciate what they’re doing for us. But I would like to give thanks. And hopefully, some veterans next year can get the same opportunity that I got today.”

Armored Painting will be holding the contest again next year. They will start taking nominations around April.

Emiliano Peña contributed to this story.