This weekend, U.S. Army veteran-turned-truck-driver James Rogers will receive a full-loaded and free-of-charge Freightliner tractor courtesy of the Keys to Progress program sponsored by Progressive Insurance.
Since the start of its “Keys to Progress” program five years ago, Progressive said it has donated considerable time and resources to provide more than 500 military families and organizations with reliable transportation so they can get back on the road and moving forward in life. However, the ceremony this weekend this marks the first time the company has donated a commercial tractor.
Progressive said the “deserving recipient of this life-changing gift,” James Rogers, spent 11 years in the U.S. Army, including tours in Afghanistan and Korea, and suffered a spinal injury while abroad. Once healthy and ready to enter the civilian workforce, Rogers wanted a career that would provide the same camaraderie and integrity that being a soldier provided and so became a truck driver.
Rogers, accompanied by his family, friends, and service dog Sargent, will receive the keys to his new commercial truck at a special event hosted by SelecTrucks/Houston Freightliner, which has volunteered staff, resources and hours of time to perform service, body, and paint work on the truck free-of-charge – including all parts.
The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, a long-time affiliate of Progressive and a leading charity dedicated to over-the-road truckers in need of assistance due to injury or illness, helped identify the recipient of the free truck and sourced additional donations to help Rogers start his new life.
Progressive added that it hopes publicity about its program helps attract more people to the trucking industry. It cited a recent report from the American Trucking Association (ATA) that the industry needs to hire almost 900,000 more drivers to meet rising freight demand over the next decade.
“This need, combined with the transferable skills many military personnel gain while serving our country, makes trucking an attractive career choice for many veterans returning to civilian life,” Progressive said in a statement.