JESSUP, Pa. — Dave Ragan is the founder of Veteran's Promise, a nonprofit in Dickson City that offers support and outreach programs for veterans, especially those struggling with PTSD and substance abuse.
When Ragan's girlfriend entered him into a nationwide contest designed to give back to veterans, he laughed it off and expected nothing.
That was three months ago.
"As it was shared on Facebook, I mean just hundreds of people were voting and voting and voting, and I'm like, 'This is overwhelming.' I didn't expect that at all. And then I got the call yesterday that we won, and I just can't believe it. I mean, I've never won anything. This is like the lottery," Ragan said.
The contest is called "Beacon of Hope."
As one of three winners, Ragan will receive a new roof for his home in Jessup.
I'm on a fixed income. I'm not broke, but I don't have, you know, $15,000 in my pocket to pay for a new roof. I mean, that is absolutely just unbelievable."
Ragan says he never expected or wanted praise for his work at Veteran's Promise, but he hopes that winning this contest is proof that his work there really does make a difference.
"I wake up every day. I'm not a perfect human being, by any means, but I literally try to live my life to just do good for others and be in service of them like I did when I wore the uniform."
And getting a new roof means he can afford to stay in his home and his hometown for as long as he wishes.
"It is a miracle, so I love you all," Ragan added. "Thank you so much for what you did for me and my family. I don't even know what to say."