Two local veterans receive free cars: ‘I’m mind blown’

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Two veterans in Western New York now have new cars, all for free, thanks to the ‘Keys to Progress Program.’

Glenn Ditillio and Stephen McCloskey aren’t used to getting many things handed to them. 

“I’m so used to helping everyone else, and honestly it meant a lot that someone stepped in to help me,” McCloskey said. 

For years, the men put their lives on the the line for our freedom: Glenn in the Marines, Stephen in the Army. And their service didn’t end when their duty did. The two created the Alpha and the Omega Retreat, which helps vets transition back into civilian life. 

“Last year alone, we lost what 32 friends?” McCloskey asked his wife. “(We lost) 32 friends between war, drugs and deployments, to suicide.”

Over the past few years, Stephen and Glenn have been through a lot. 

Today though, was all about them. 

“I’m mind blown,” Ditillio said. 

Both men received refurbished cars. They didn’t know what vehicles they were getting until today. 

Progressive puts together the event. They get the collision-damaged vehicles, and hand them over to Northeast Collision and West Herr Collision. Those two businesses then fix them up for the vets. 

“You find greatness in your brokenness, and this is just one of the pieces that shows me that,” Ditillio said. “It’s amazing that people can be that kind, and put that much passion into helping out anybody.”

Glenn and Stephen have given so much to their county and communities. Today, their community gave back to them. 

“Without breaking down into tears, I just have to say thank you so much,” Ditillio said. “It’s just absolutely amazing.”

Glenn mentioned this is the newest car he’s ever owned. 

Keys for Progress is a national program. Nationwide, Progressive helped give away more than 100 vehicles this year. They’ve helped give away more than 600 cars to vets since 2013. 

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