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OKC Veteran Receives Free Car Ahead Of Veterans Day

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An Oklahoma Marine Corps veteran was one of more than 100 recipients of a new car in Progressive Insurance’s nationwide Keys to Progress giveaway. An Oklahoma Marine Corps veteran was one of more than 100 recipients of a new car in Progressive Insurance’s nationwide Keys to Progress giveaway.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

An Oklahoma Marine Corps veteran was one of more than 100 recipients of a new car in Progressive Insurance’s nationwide Keys to Progress giveaway Thursday.

Terry Thayer has been walking and riding his bicycle where he needs to go since he became homeless earlier this year. “I was in a shelter,” he recalls. “Everything I owned was lost and they helped me get back on my feet.”

Veterans advocates from the state stepped in to help provide Thayer housing and employment. Transportation was the last step.

David Stanley Chevrolet partnered with Progressive Insurance for the giveaway, totally refurbishing a 2013 Malibu that suffered hail damage. Progressive's donation falls on the Marine Corps birthday, even more fitting for Thayer.

The program helps veterans from all branches, though, like Army vet Terry Haney in 2015.

“It came for me last year for me and my family in a time where I really needed it,” said Haney, who has three daughters.

There are many more still struggling to make the transition after serving.

“Being away from families, just seeing what they’ve seen, I can imagine how tough it is to come back and get back to normal everyday life,” said Aron Watts, a Progressive service center manager.

Thayer added, “I’ve noticed a lot of them, they give up. They feel so isolated and like nobody is going to help them.”

Thayer, however, was able to find help and goes home with a car to call his own along with six months insurance paid by Enterprise Rentals and donated money in his pocket. “I feel like a real man again,” he said.

If you know of a veteran who would benefit from a new car, contact your local VFW or veterans group to prepare an application for next year’s giveaway. To learn more about the criteria for Keys to Progress, click here.

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