AUSTIN -- The images were heart breaking; flood waters resembling raging rivers tore through Colorado neighborhoods.
At the University of Boulder, campus grounds were underwater. Eight people were killed last month when heavy rains and erosion from recent wildfires sent walls of water streaming down Colorado mountainsides.
Yet, with the devastation came acts of bravery. Hundreds of National Guard troops faced the treacherous waters to save stranded families.
And there were acts of compassion. More than 800 American Red Cross volunteers from across the country came in to help. Austinite Rigo Vallejo was one of them.
"It's an incredible disaster. It spans north and south about 80 miles and east and west about 70 miles," recounted Vallejo.
He was assigned to Loveland, an area about two hours away from the city he once called home, Colorado Springs. For two weeks, Vallejo was charged with the task of going into hard to reach areas to survey the damage and deliver food and cleaning supplies.
"What I saw there initially was of course people dealing with a devastating loss," he said.
There's one image that stands out most. "A mobile home that had been just ripped up and smashed into two or three other, two or three mobile homes pulled together where you could just see people's property just strewn all over the place and you recognize that someone has literally just lost everything they had," Vallejo remembered.
It's a feeling he knows well.
"My wife and I had been married a short time and she was actually expecting our first child. We had an apartment fire and it happened on Christmas morning. And we happened to be out of town," recalled Vallejo. "I got there and the Red Cross had already been there."
That was back in 1987 when he lived in Dallas. The Red Cross gave the Vallejo's money for clothes and furniture, but most important to him, volunteers provided emotional support. Support he pledged to one day give back and now has.
"Personally, it's extremely rewarding to me to be in a service role," Vallejo said.
A story of volunteering, come full circle. And it will continue as Vallejo plans to keep giving back.