Veteran receives furniture in annual holiday giveaway

Amber Aldaco By Amber Aldaco

Dec. 22, 2017 at 10:06 p.m.
Updated Dec. 23, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Raymond David Cisneros, 72, hugs Sheriff Raul "Pinky" Gonzales, who played a large part in getting Cisneros chosen for Kamin Furniture's Magic of Christmas giveaway.

Raymond David Cisneros, 72, hugs Sheriff Raul "Pinky" Gonzales, who played a large part in getting Cisneros chosen for Kamin Furniture's Magic of Christmas giveaway.   Olivia Vanni for The Victoria Advocate

WOODSBORO - Sirens echoed down Danforth Street as the Woodsboro Fire Department truck pulled up to a home where Raymond David Cisneros was sitting on the porch.

The engines of several motorcycles, driven by the Reguladores Motorcycle Club, revved as they drove up to the house.

Smiles broke out on the faces of the almost 20 family and friends as Buddy Kamin, dressed as Santa Claus, walked up to 72-year-old Cisneros.

"You got a whole house full of furniture," Kamin said as he shook Cisneros' hand.

Cisneros, who has been battling cancer since May, was surprised when a furniture van pulled up to the driveway but couldn't help but smile at the sight.

For the past 33 years, Kamin Furniture, along with the help of several Victoria businesses, has helped a family in need during the holiday season for their annual Magic of Christmas giveaway.

Cisneros, a U.S. Army veteran who fought in Vietnam more than 50 years ago, was this year's recipient. The Woodsboro resident served in the Army from 1965 to 1967. Cisneros also attended Coastal Bend College in Beeville and San Antonio College and was employed at Naval Air Station-Chase Field in Beeville for 20 years. After the Beeville air station closed, Cisneros worked at Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi, from which he retired in 2001. Cisneros also served as a community referee for football, basketball, baseball and softball for 30 years.

Cisneros received a dining room set, living room furniture, new bedroom sets, TVs, rugs, clothes, gift certificates and money.

"We all pray for you, and we know that you'll do well," Kamin said.

Cisneros was nominated by Raul "Pinky" Gonzales, the Refugio County Sheriff.

Gonzales said he nominated Cisneros for several reasons. He knew Cisneros' home had sustained damage from Hurricane Harvey and Cisneros and his family have been unable to live in the house because of roof and water damage. Their belongings were also destroyed, he said. The Cisneros family has been living in a house available through a relative.

Cisneros was also recently diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer. Gonzales said he was glad to see Cisneros was chosen.

"It's the least we can do for him. He fought for our country and served our country well," Gonzales said. "We got angels amongst us."

Cisneros' wife, Josie, was taken aback at the generosity. She said she was aware her family was going to be a recipient but was not expecting the fanfare Kamin and company brought to present the gifts.

"It's been amazing. I almost don't know what to say," Josie Cisneros, 70, said, her hand over her heart. "We're so grateful and thankful that these people are able to do all this. There's a lot of wonderful and generous people out there."

Cisneros said he was thankful for the gifts.

"It's been an extremely good surprise," Cisneros said. "It was very unexpected."

Cisneros' daughter, Roxanne Quesada, said it's been a tough year for their family. In between battling cancer and chemotherapy, the family has also been on a slow road to recovery after Hurricane Harvey. The family is hoping to be back in their home within the next year, Josie Cisneros said.

Quesada said some days are tougher than others, but Friday was a great day for her family, she said. Quesada said she appreciates the generosity of Kamin Furniture and those who helped make the giveaway possible.

"This is the happiest I've seen him in awhile," Quesada, 44, said about her father. "To see him smile like this is a blessing."



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