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Navy vet who struggled with addiction and rebuilt life post-service gets big surprise ahead of Christmas

Just in time for the holidays

Image source: KCNC-TV video screenshot

A Navy veteran, who rebuilt his life, is back on the road — both figuratively and literally — after he received a near brand new 2017 vehicle, courtesy of Geico and Caliber Collision in Longmont, Colorado.

What are the details?

Richard Shock, who left the Navy in 1987, fell into addiction shortly after he left the service, according to KCNC-TV. In the throes of his addiction, he lost his home and much of his family.

According to the Times-Call, Shock injured his back as a carpenter after leaving the Navy. As a result, he ended up becoming hooked on opioids.

"At that time we were married, had two kids and all the debt and bills that come with that," Shock explained. "I couldn't stop working, so the doctor gave me the option to go on pain management and I got addicted to opiates. From there, everything just spiraled downward for awhile."

Shock spiraled so far down that his wife and children left him, and he ended up homeless and using heroin.

After hitting rock bottom, Shock ended up applying for benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and was able to check into drug and vocational rehabs.

Now Shock is working for the VA to help other vets — specifically with "transitioning housing, helping them with health care needs, [and] mental health needs."

Though Shock is more stable than he's ever been, he did not own a vehicle up until this month, because he couldn't afford one.

That's where Geico and Caliber Collision teamed up with the nonprofit organization, Soldiers Angels, who selected Shock to receive a blue 2017 Hyundai Sonata.

According to the Times-Call, the vehicle has only 2,400 miles on it.

"It's blue! I was in the Navy, it's blue, it's perfect!" Shock said, grinning from ear to ear while receiving his gift.

What else?

The car wasn't the only gift Shock received — the Sonata's trunk was full of gifts, too, including outdoor gear to use with his son.

"We're going on some climbing trips for sure," Shock said, adding that he's so grateful for the gifts. "It's going to improve the quality of life for me and my kids, for sure."

According to the station, Geico donated the formerly totaled vehicle to Caliber Collision, whose employees worked tirelessly to restore the vehicle to mint condition.

"Now when someone asks me if my kids and I want to go climbing, we can actually go," Shock told the Times-Call. "This is really huge. The biggest gift with recovery and sobriety is freedom, and this just accentuates it. It's the icing on top."

One last thing…
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