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Thursday, 13 December 2018 23:53

2 Veteran Families Receive Cars Through NABC Recycled Rides in VA

Written by Amy Simpson, WRIC.com

'Tis the season to give back.

 

On Dec. 4, exactly three weeks before Christmas, two veteran families in Virginia got a gift without a price tag: a car.

 

The cars were both wrapped in bows---just like in those holiday commercials.

 

This holiday season, these two veteran families have gained the gift of independence.

 

"Reliable transportation is something that many of us take for granted, but it’s something that's so necessary," said Ashley Ray with Soldiers' Angels, a nonprofit that supports veterans and men and women in uniform.

 

One of the car recipients served 14 years in the Army. He said the shiny red Toyota is a gift that will keep on giving to his family.

 

"The long commutes that I used to have on public transportation---I can eliminate that right now," said Joey Burrell of Hampton, VA.

 

The car donations were possible because of a little magic from Richmond-area GEICO and Caliber Collision elves.

 

GEICO donated the two cars, and Caliber Collision restored them to working condition. This effort is part of the National Auto Body Council's Recycled Rides program.

 

"Technicians, estimators, center managers---all those folks have donated well over 100 hours of their time to restore both of these vehicles," said a representative from Caliber Collision.

 

Che and Jerri Griffin were nearly in shock when they saw a slate-colored SUV waiting for them.

 

Both spouses served in the military and said they had been relying on Uber to get around.

 

"We had a vehicle that was working that went down," said Che, a Navy veteran from Hampton. "You know [economically] the way things are---made it hard for us."

 

Now the Griffin family is overjoyed with their Dodge SUV. They told 8News they're most excited to have a car big enough to fit the whole family.

 

"I don't know where we'd be right now," said Che. "We'd probably still be waiting at home for a blessing to come by."

 

Both the Burrell and Griffin families were nominated for the Recycled Rides program by Soldiers' Angels.

 

"A lot of people had a hand in this and made it work, and I'm really thankful for that," said Che.

 

Joey smiled from ear to ear as he checked out his new ride.

 

"That's what I'm thankful for the most," he said. "That people are looking out for all of us."

 

Caliber Collision said that since this program began, it has given reliable transportation to more than 300 people in need.

 

We thank WRIC.com for reprint permission.

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