Navy veteran can celebrate Thanksgiving with car donation

Caliber Collision, Geico team up to give vet, service dog refurbished car

By Francine Frazier - Senior web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 20-year Navy veteran who served in five deployments was recognized Thursday by Caliber Collision and Geico, who teamed up to replace the former Navy corpsman's only means of transportation -- a rundown 1989 Jeep with no windows or a full roof.  

HM Steve Switzer served in the U.S. Navy as a corpsman with the elite Navy SEALs and deployed three times to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq.

This Thanksgiving season, Caliber Collision and Geico thanked Switzer for his sacrifices and service with a newly refurbished 2014 Volkswagen Jetta.

The car was donated by Geico and restored by teammates at Caliber Collision, who volunteered their time and talent as a community service.

The car donation is part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program in which collision industry businesses team up to repair and donate cars to individuals in need of reliable transportation.  

During his multiple tours as a Navy corpsman, Switzer encountered numerous intense experiences that have left him suffering from severe PTSD and a sense of “survivors’ guilt.”

Switzer and his devoted service dog, Dudley, live humbly in a small house sparsely furnished with a bed and a couple of chairs, with no TV, computer or internet. Switzer’s new Recycled Rides vehicle will keep him dry and comfortable as he commutes to and from his numerous VA appointments and help get him back on the road to a brighter future.

Switzer was nominated for the car donation by the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and the Armed Services YMCA.

Over the past six years, Caliber Collision and its industry partners have donated more than 300 vehicles valued at nearly $4 million to military service members, veterans and others in need of reliable transportation.

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