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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Getting a new car is an exciting feeling for anyone.
But for some, a new set of wheels means more than just a ride.
The emotion was overwhelming for Marine Corporal Zary Chan and Army veteran Thomas McCain as they were presented with their new cars.
They’re two of the 113 deserving veterans around the country who were presented keys to newly-refurbished vehicles by Progressive Insurance.
The company works with local body shops and car companies to restore slightly damaged cars as part of their Keys To Progress program.
“I just can’t believe it,” Chan said. “It’s overwhelming.”
Chan’s story is one of heartfelt volunteer work with fellow veterans and rescue animals.
After leaving the military, she fell on hard times, living in her car at one point.
After more than 230,000 miles, her car finally gave out. So for her, this gift symbolizes so much more than just a vehicle.
“I really appreciate it because I felt so alone in everything that I do each and every day to make sacrifices and to pay it forward,” Chan said. “I help because it’s what I want someone to do for me.”
For McCain, his car will help him get to Veteran Affair appointments and continue his volunteer work driving others to church.
“It’s just gonna give me freedom and independence to be who I can truly be,” McCain said.
“I said I never smelled a car so new,” he said. “And it smelled better than me.”
This day is about giving back to those who give so much.
“When you do what you can to move forward, the world, the universe it blesses you, when the time is right like today,” Chan said.
Not only does Progressive Insurance’s program provide the veterans with cars, they are also given a $600 gift card for gas, six months of insurance all paid for and they receive gift cards for maintenance, as well.