Veterans across the country rewarded free cars

By Liz Tufts

Nearly two-thirds of a new veterans say they’re having a tough time transitioning back to civilian life. Basic things, like finding a job or providing for their families are a challenge. Many don’t even own a car of their own.

Wednesday, hundreds of veterans across the country were handed keys to a vehicle of their own, including two vets from Rhode Island.

For the first time in years, Navy veteran Jughe Campbell Jr. of Providence has a car to call his own.

"I’m lost for words, totally lost for words, it’s fantastic," said Campbell.

He and Jerrhona White, an Army vet from Providence, were handed the keys to newly refurbished vehicles. White was at a loss for words when she saw her 2012 Nissan Altima.

"I want to lay down right now, I don’t even know what to say," she said.

They are two of 130 veterans across the country who were handed keys to vehicles on Veterans Day, part of the nationwide "Keys to Progress Event." Dozens of recycled and donated vehicles are refurbished with the help from progressive insurance.

"At 60 locations, 130 vehicles are being given away today. It’s the 3rd year that we have done this so it’s going on all across America today," said Shawn McNealley of Progressive Insurance.

Operation Stand Down of Rhode Island picked the two veterans.

White says she knows the first things she’s going to do when she gets behind the wheel, "I haven’t seen my family in over a year, I haven’t seen my grandmother, and she’s only in Connecticut. I cant wait to get into this car and see her for Thanksgiving, I’m so excited."

Campbell is ready to drive to his new job in his 2012 Jeep Liberty instead of waiting for the bus, "It’s been really tough. Rhode Island transportation is rough getting up at five in the morning to catch the bus."

A big thank you for the service they both gave to our country.

"If I was called again, I’d do it again. I’d be the first one there," said Campbell.

On top of the free cars, veterans also get free insurance for the next six months.

© WLNE-TV 2015