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Injured Marine veteran who walks or hitches ride to work receives donated car

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BELTON, Mo. -- A Marine veteran who has been struggling to get to work received a gift Tuesday morning from Cars4Heroes, a not-for-profit organization that repairs donated cars and gives them to members of the military, veterans or their families.

Kyle Smith, his wife and baby did not expect to get a car when they arrived at Loch Lloyd Golf Course,16750 S Country Club Drive.

"This is a big surprise for me. I mean, it's very helpful to my family and I'm not a very emotional person but I'd like to thank everybody. I appreciate what you all do supporting our military and me," said Smith, a Marine veteran who was injured while serving in Afghanistan.

Smith now works as a security guard at Ford Leavenworth. Before Tuesday, he didn't have a car. To get to work each day he'd either have to walk the two-and-a-half miles or ask someone for a ride.

Deron Cherry, former Kansas City Chief, arranged for the presentation to happen at Loch Lloyd during the Deron Cherry Celebrity Invitational benefiting Camp Quality, a camp for kids with cancer, and Score 1, a program that provides free, in-school health screenings for elementary-aged children in the greatest need, including urban core and low-income families from under-resourced neighborhoods.

"I had tears in my eyes," said former Kansas City Chief Deron Cherry. "Anytime you can give a veteran something well-deserved, they sacrifice a lot for us."

According to Smith's biography, Smith had been in foster care his whole life. When he joined the Marines, he 'finally found a place that he could call family.' He was deployed to Afghanistan and was injured with a broken vertebrae.

Smith's wife recently lost her job. The Smith's have a 10-month-old son and another child on the way.

car

According to family, Smith met the donators of the van on a whim.  Smith was at his father-in-law's post when the former van owners drove by, stopped and spoke to Smith.  Photo below provided by Smith's mother-in-law.

Picture from Kelly Manning

Picture from Kelly Manning