Philadelphia veteran gifted new car by Progressive; breaks down in tears

Former U.S. Army Private First Class Howard Lindy said having a car is life-changing.
MALVERN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- It was an emotional early Veterans Day celebration at Progressive in Malvern, Chester County.

Former U.S. Army Private First Class Howard Lindy broke down in tears after he was honored by Progressive Insurance through the Keys to Progress Program.

He was gifted a new car with a lot of bells and whistles, including paid insurance.

Lindy, from the Overbrook neighborhood in Philadelphia, feared he might not walk again after sustaining a critical injury at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri more than 10 years ago.

"They had to get scissors to get off the boots. And I crushed all the bones in my shins all the way to my feet," Lindy said.

The humble veteran said the new car is truly a new beginning.

"It means a new beginning. I can actually get around and help my veterans and my daughter, and my mother," Lindy said.

It's the 9th annual giveaway, and Lindy was honored among 45 other veterans nationwide.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 40% percent of veterans live in rural areas where affordable transportation options are limited. But for veterans like Lindy, it's a matter of making ends meet.

He said having a car is life-changing. It means no more begging friends for rides to run simple errands.

"I had to pick up medicine at CVS. I had to find a ride for that," Lindy said. "It's stressful when you're taking care of somebody, and you have a child."

The Army veteran was excited to drive off in his new apple red Hyundai.

He says it's hard to be on the receiving end when he is used to giving.

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