Progressive Gives Vets a Hand-up, not Handout 5/5 (1)

Progressive is giving vets a hand-up, not a handout. We don’t know if you guys know, but Progressive is doing a pretty cool thing. Actually, they have been doing a cool thing for about five years now. This month, Progressive will give away their 500th car to a veteran in need. Through the Keys To Progress program, Progressive has helped a few hundred veterans gain a beachhead in the civilian world.  To the forty percent of the veteran population that lives in rural areas with no access to public transportation, this is a life-saver.

The transition time for veterans can be especially difficult but not because they are incapable–in fact far from it. Rather, it’s a time when you’re branching out and you don’t necessarily know how to employ all that you know. You’re talented, smart, hard-working, but the civilian world definitely has its own unique challenges that you just aren’t familiar with. Most people in the military (at least the younger enlisted) don’t need a car. Most of them get one, but it’s not an absolute necessity. Larger bases have shuttles and, usually, you can grab a ride from a friend.

When it comes to living the civilian life, most people need a vehicle to get to work. There are buses and other modes of public transportation, but only in the bigger cities. Having reliable transportation may be the difference between successfully transitioning and riding the struggle bus for a while. Progressive is helping to remove that obstacle.


Partnering with the National Auto Body Council, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and a host of other sponsors, Progressive refurbishes and fixes up cars, ensuring their reliability before donating them to a veteran in need. Enterprise then provides six months worth of insurance for the vehicle. The vehicles also receive a one year warranty from Preferred Warranties Inc.

Transitioning vets don’t need handouts, they need hand-ups. The amount of gratitude and loyalty inspired by the simple act of helping a veteran gain traction in a new environment will show when they inevitably become successful.  Given the right mission and the right support, veterans work with vigor and purpose the likes of which is rarely seen and then they turn right around to help others just like others helped them.

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The Author

John Fannin

John Fannin

John spent four years as a 0351, Infantry Assaulltman in the United States Marine Corps. He deployed twice to the city of Ramadi, Iraq with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines. After leaving the Marine Corps in 2008 John pursued a degree in Kinesiology from Texas Lutheran University. During his time at TLU, John was fortunate enough to play football for a year and serve the local community as a volunteer firefighter. After graduating John worked as a personal trainer for few years before coming to work at American Grit. John is also the proud owner of a great beard.