Veteran gifted car to end 8-hour daily commute

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 2:40 AM CDT
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PENNINGTON, N.J. (WPVI) - A U.S. Army veteran in New Jersey received a newly refurbished car in an act of kindness that ended his daily, eight-hour commute to work.

Former Airborne Ranger Lemmuel Thomas used to commute four hours daily each way to keep his full-time job in New Brunswick. He didn’t have a car of his own, so he would take New Jersey Transit or expensive rideshares.

However, at a surprise event on March 16, all that changed.

Thomas was handed the keys to a newly refurbished car, thanks to the generosity of Caliber Collision in Pennington and GEICO. With his new car, he will get back at least six hours of his day, time he once spent commuting.

“Things like this never happen to me,” Thomas said. “From the bottom of my heart, I really appreciate it. My day just got a little more fuller. Now, I can move around. I can just have some time for myself and my kids, which I was losing every day.”

Thomas said finances have been tight because he has been helping his son Jordan, who is studying journalism, with college tuition and other expenses.

“I get a lot of my hard work from him,” his son said. “I couldn’t be any more thankful. I couldn’t have asked for a better [role model].”

Thomas also said getting this car inspires him to do more to help others.

The act of kindness is part of the National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides program that provides reliable transportation to those in need.