Keys to a restored car were presented to the family of fallen soldier Sergeant 1st Class Keith Callahan on Thursday, July 11, at Segra Stadium in Fayetteville, NC.
Callahan, 31, was killed in action in Iraq in 2007.
He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.
Dody Callahan was nominated for the car donation by the USO of North Carolina and Tuesday’s Children, a national nonprofit organization that promotes long-term healing and builds common bonds through its resilience-building programming for children, families and communities affected by a traumatic loss.
The car donation by Caliber Collision and State Farm is part of a national program to repair and donate vehicles to families in need.
“We are especially honored to present Mrs. Callahan and her five children with this vehicle in which we share our appreciation for the sacrifices she and her family have made on behalf of our country,” said Jaime Shannon, a local State Farm agent.
The car was restored by service members participating in Caliber Collision’s Changing Lanes program, which provides service members transitioning out of the military with no-cost training for a new career in auto body repair.
“I think it’s absolutely amazing that they’re taking veterans and bringing them out and teaching them how to do this and readjusting them back into society and life,” Dody Callahan said of the program.
A mother of five who is going through school for nursing, Dody Callahan said the vehicle will help, as her 19-year-old son Devin Callahan is in college, and twins Brady and Brooke Callahan, 17, have shared a vehicle between going to school and picking up their younger sister, 8-year-old Katie.
Dody Callahan said she was also grateful the presentation on July 11 took time to honor her late husband.
Lt. Col. Brian Koyn, the division chaplain for 82nd Airborne Division, served with Keith Callahan and said he put his own welfare above others.