SCC: Hi Charles, please tell us a little about yourself.
Charles: My name is Charles Davis. I’m a US naval disabled veteran. I served eight years. I have five kids. I’m a granddad. I am employed at the Bedford VA. I work in the warehouse as a material handler.
SCC: Tell us about your time in the Navy.
Charles: I was a cook in the Navy. I traveled all over the world. I went on three Mediterranean cruises. I’ve been to places like Africa, Asia, Greece, Rome, Germany, France, all over Italy. The Navy opened up doors for me because I am from a family of 15. My father passed away when I was five, so we were in real, real poverty. The Navy was a way of me getting out of poverty, but also getting my family to come out of poverty and help my mother.
It introduced me to so many diverse, different things, people, and cultures. I got paid to travel and it was just awesome. I should have stayed, but something very bad happened to me and I just wasn’t able to adjust and I was too ashamed to get help. Later on down the line, other assets of the VA helped me talk about it and get situated and understand what happened and why it happened. So, I’m a better man today.
With my profession in the Navy as a cook I could get hired anywhere. I was like a journeyman. One thing about the Navy, it gets you traveling so much, and once you come out, you don’t want to stop traveling. So that’s what I did. I moved around and lived in different states and just enjoyed life and worked everywhere I went and tried to deal with life on life’s terms.
SCC: What circumstances led up to you reaching out to Second Chance Cars?
Charles: I got caught up with the wrong type of people. I had the wrong woman and she was the type that if I didn’t be with her, she would do anything to make sure that I was with anyone else, even make false statements. I went to prison because of stuff that she said.
I lost everything. I was there for seven years fighting for my life. It was just a bad time in my life, a bad chapter. I got out 15 months ago with nothing and I went to the VA and I met a lot of specialists and people that helped me to get myself together.
I went to the dorm. That’s a place where homeless veterans like me go to find housing, job placement, mental security. You get to stabilize in every aspect of your life. I was working CWT, that’s compensated work therapy. It’s like a job but it’s really getting you ready for a real job. I heard about Second Chance Cars at the V.A.
SCC: We’re so glad you were able to get help. What was the process like when you reached out to Second Chance Cars?
Charles: They interviewed me. Dan got back with me that week. And he said, Charles, we’re ready to go and we have a car for you. I was floored. I mean, it was like a car! I needed a car so badly.
When I got there for the presentation the wind was blowing. So half of the tarp was off the car. I was freaking out. He pulled a tarp off and it was nice, nice, nice. The car is great. No problems whatsoever. Everything works. Those folks, they really care about veterans and they’re giving back.
SCC: How are things going for you now?
I have a car. My payment is $78 a month. My insurance is paid off for a year. It was like a dream come true. Second chance cars gave me a renewed faith, a new hope. Now that I have a job, I’m able to catch up with all my past bills. My son and my daughter stay in Rhode Island. I’m able to go and visit them and pick them up and take them to church with me. They hang out with me and I take them shopping.
I’m able to make all ends meet. I’m also in the ministry, so I preach on Sundays. I’m able to go to meetings, go to church, give back to the community. This car completed me. It completed what I needed.
My kids mother doesn’t have transportation so she was just floored when she heard I had a car. She said, “how’d you get a car, you just got home?” I said, “it was God and an organization called Second Chance Cars.