ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Here in the Permian Basin, veterans are remembered by many, but one in particular has made direct impact on the Odessa community.

David H. Gallivan was in the Military for 22 years, before he came back to Odessa and taught JROTC in Ector County for another 27 years.

Gallivan passed away last month at the age of 83. ABC Big 2 sat down with his family to talk about the incredible impact he has had on the Odessa community.

To his family, he served many roles, and continued serving, even after retiring from the military.

His grandson, Jason Shoel, emphasized that heavily, saying, “He lived a life of service from one way or another from start to end. Being proud of the man he was, and hearing how he affected people, and hearing those stories, it makes you proud.”

To Gallivan’s family, his time in the military and fighting for his country was where he affected them the most.

Gallivan joined the Airforce right out of high school before joining the Army.

After two tours in Vietnam and one tour in Korea, he chose to settle down in Odessa, but he wasn’t done serving his country and his community.

Donna Shoel, one of Gallivan’s daughters, said, “He was very proud of serving his country and being an American and he passed it on to me as his daughter and then to his grandchildren.”

After his retirement, Gallivan decided to take on the role of teacher at what used to be Ector high school, and later moved to Odessa High. There, he became the junior reverse officers’ training corps (JROTC) teacher for more than 20 years, and looked to continue his impact on the next generation.

“He was their first ROTC instructor, he was their first sergeant, they called him sarge,” laughed Donna. “So that’s when I began to see it. Probably when I was a young adult, or a little bit older, is when I started realizing how much. But I didn’t realize how much he did behind the scenes and didn’t take credit for, until after his passing.”

Donna said seeing others love her father the way the family did was shocking, but in the best way.

“It was overwhelmingly positive, I mean, it felt so good, to know that they loved him like we did. That they understood, that he gave more than he took. It was very comforting and very nice,” she said with a smile.

And Jason said it meant more to them to know he was so impactful on others besides themselves.

“I guess more than anything, knowing everything that he did, the impact that he had on so many people’s lives,” added Jason. “It feels good to know that and it feels good to be able to share that with everybody because we get to share him with everybody.”

Gallivan also coached the drill team at Odessa High, who the family said became another part of his family.

“One story that I found out later, a young lady, she wanted to be on the team so bad. She tried out and tried out and tried out and just couldn’t make it. He found a way to be on the team, as a manager, as a helper, you know, to be a part of that group is what she wanted so bad, so, he cared about each individual person, as much as the group as a team,” said an emotional Donna. “They became his family, I mean he was with them all the time.”

His impact and volunteering and work ethic only continued, as Donna and Jason said he coached junior Jackalopes hockey for years and went on to teach coaches at the professional level as well.

Jason said it was extremely important to see someone as influential as his grandfather in his community.

“He’s the type of person that’s the backbone of a community. Somebody who, takes care of the community, takes care of the people, who has an impact on the community, without anybody ever knowing.”

As shown, Gallivan continued to serve his country even after retirement and most of his family decided to follow in his footsteps.

They’d like to thank all those in Odessa who paid their respects to their loved one.