Wheels in motion
Army veteran receives donated car in commemoration of Veterans Day
MILFORD — A round of applause reverberated through the room as a 29-year-old Army veteran no longer has to lace up his black-and-green skates every day to rollerblade 81⁄2 miles each way for his landscaping job.
Veterans, insurance agency employees and high school choir members watched as Jacob Handy of Bristol was presented with a refurbished blue 2014 Hyundai Accent, as part of Progressive’s fifth annual Keys to Progress program. He said “this breaks the dam for me,” explaining that “since I’ve got out of active duty, it’s been a real struggle for me. This is ... a lot for me.”
Serving in the Army for three years as an infantry soldier in Iraq took a toll of Handy’s wellbeing, he said. After returning, he spent another three years training other soldiers.
Upon retiring from the Army National Guard, he found himself struggling, as his military skills weren’t transferable to everyday civilian life, he said. Besides his trek to work, he was only able to see his three children several times a month, needing a ride to get there, after already having missed birthdays and holidays with them.
Just like Handy, approximately 40 percent of veterans live in areas where affordable transportation options are limited, forcing them to travel great dis-
U.S. Army veteran Jacob Handy of Bristol looks over a 2014 Hyundai Accent he received at the Progressive Service Center in Milford during the company’s fifth annual Keys to Progress event Thursday. The car was restored by Breezy Point Auto Body of Stratford.