Iowa veteran gets the keys to restored car

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- An Iowa veteran was handed the keys to a refurbished car at a Davenport car dealership Thursday.

Dahl Ford teamed up with Progressive's "Keys to Progress" program and other Quad City businesses to make the donation of a restored 2012 Ford Escape to Navy veteran Matt Belin.

Belin, who lives in Des Moines, said he has had his ups and downs since serving in Operations Desert Storm and Shield, and that the donation meant a lot to him.

"I'm convinced that there's people out there who do care about veterans, that will go to a lot of extent to assist veterans," he said. "For me personally, it's going to be a game changer."

Keys to Progress works with military and charity organizations around the country to find and refurbish cars for vets every November. As of this year, the program says it has provided 600 vehicles to veterans and veterans' groups.

K.V. Dahl III, the owner and GM at Dahl Ford, said that restoring the vehicle was a team effort.

"Our guys in the body shop donated their time, they did all the repairs on their own time -- at night, on the weekends," he said. "We teamed up with a lot of our vendors, they donated the parts, they donated the paint."

Belin said repeatedly that he was deeply grateful for the car, but joked that he would need to be careful with it.

"I'm going to have to make sure that I don't use it too much and gain too much weight, because I'm used to getting my steps in," he said with a laugh.