Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Veterans fight for our freedom. But in the process, some of them lose theirs.
Being reintegrated into civilian life can be a struggle. But one organization is giving these deserving veterans wheels again.
Cars 4 Heroes provides veterans with a vehicle, free of charge.
Three men drove away with a new car on Wednesday, and were handed the keys to a new look on life.
Brandan Ewertt is a marine veteran, now struggling to be reintegrated into civilian society.
To make ends meet, he's had to put nursing school on hold, and pick up a second job.
"I am waiting tables and I am a cashier at a gas station," Ewertt said.
To make matters more complicated, he has been without a car for almost a year now.
"I had had a car, I didn't realize the recession would hit me as hard, lost my car, and so for a year I've been walking, bumming a ride, getting a cab to get to and from work," Ewertt said.
He's not alone.
Shane Smith and Larry Jackson have similar stories of struggle after service.
"I had some problems with the drinking and the PTSD and stuff," Smith said.
"I've just been walking to get where I'm going but it's been very frustrating, very stressful, you know without a car," Jackson said.
But on Wednesday, their transportation troubles were alleviated.
Cars 4 Heroes, a local organization, provided a car for all three veterans.
"It means everything, it's hard to explain it, it's great, and like I said, I hit rock bottom, and I'm trying to get back up, and the fact that I actually get help, it's just amazing, it's just something that I never expected," Smith said.
The organization gives away about three hundred cars to worthy individuals each year.
"It's absolutely free, it's a gift to them, and it's just a small way for us to say thank you for your service," said Terry Franz, Founder of Cars 4 Heroes.
With keys in hand, the veterans can start their cars, and hopefully a new life.
"It's a selfless act, and it's definitely going to help me as far as where I'm going in my future," Ewertt said.
If you would like to donate a car, or if you think you might be a good candidate to receive a car, there is a link below that will provide more information.