BOSTON (CBS) — When Donald Trump handed out more than $5.6 million in donations to veteran’s groups, a local charity was on the list.
“I pretty much screamed my head off for 10 minutes.” That was the reaction from Andy Biggio, the founder of New England Wounded Veterans.READ MORE: 'Abnormally Dry' Conditions Have Expanded To Over 75% Of Massachusetts
Andy served with the Marines doing tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. When he returned home to his native Winthrop, he started the charity.
His organization received a letter from Trump with a check for $75,000. Andy said the most he thought they would get is $2,000.
New England Wounded Veterans has one huge fundraiser each year, a motorcycle charity ride called Boston’s Wounded Vet Run.READ MORE: Former Patriot Joe Andruzzi's Daughter Making History As Kicker For High School Football Team
This year the proceeds from that event helped five local veterans and their families. The wife of one wounded vet got a new car courtesy of the charity.
The organization also paid for one veteran to go to the Paralympics.
“This money is life-changing,” said Biggio.
How did New England Wounded Veterans end up on Trump’s radar screen? When Andy served in Iraq, he fought alongside a fellow Marine was named Joe Schiller, from New York.MORE NEWS: Saturday And Sunday Mark Last Days Reserved For Teachers Only At Massachusetts Mass Vaccination Sites
When they got home from war, Joe followed Andy’s charity on Facebook. One-day Joe called Andy and told him that his father was Donald Trump’s bodyguard. Joe suggested to Trump that Andy’s organization was worthy of a donation.