STORY OF HOPE

Formerly Homeless Georgia Veteran Gifted Car on Flag Day: ‘I Won’t Take This for Granted’

A formerly homeless veteran from Georgia was recognized for his “remarkable progress” and received a vehicle on Flag Day.

Shane Walker, who served for ten years in the U.S. Army and is a veteran of the Gulf War, has faced difficulties with homelessness but was able to emerge from that and become self-sufficient, according to the Champion newspaper.

Despite transitioning from homelessness, Walker was still relying on public transportation and riding a bicycle to and from work, medical appointments, and other various errands.

Amid his challenges, Walker’s outlook on life was not deterred as he continued to inspire members of the Department of Veterans Services, including his case manager Tara Phillips.

Phillips and officials from Soldier’s Angels, a nonprofit that helps veterans, worked hard to find a way to help the Gulf War vet receive a special gift “because of the remarkable progress he has made,” according to Phillips.

Through their help, Walker was gifted a Ford SUV on June 14, which is also Flag Day, thanks in part to the vehicle being donated by State Farm and refurbished by Caliber Collision mechanics in Decatur in DeKalb County.

“For the past 12 years, Caliber Collision and its industry partners have donated over 500 vehicles to individuals in need of reliable transportation,” according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“I struggled for years and part of me is thinking, ‘Is this real? and yes, it’s real,” Walker told the Champion about his new ride, “I won’t take this for granted. I want to use this opportunity to help other people while I help myself. I believe that’s what this is all about.”

“Having a car of his own will be one more step in restoring Shane’s independence as he continues to serve as an inspiration for his fellow veterans and peers,” Phillips said of Walker.

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