SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — After overcoming family hardship and homelessness, a new set of wheels is helping a military veteran get back on her feet.

US Air Force and Army National Guard Veteran Darci Carrigan was surprised with a newly refurbished SUV Wednesday thanks to Recycled Rides.

She said it was like turning 16 and getting her first car all over again, but this new car isn’t just going to get her from point A to point B. It represents a sense of power and directions that at times felt out of reach.

Carrigan received the newly refurbished 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid through the “Recycled Rides” program run in partnership with Allstate and Caliber Collision.

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“They have doctors appointments, they have jobs they need to get to, and without an auto, you’re really left in a position where you can’t do anything, This actually expands their life, expands their opportunities,” Bryan MacDonald, owner of Allstate El Dorado Hills, said.

Darci said that those opportunities seemed limited several years ago. She escaped an unstable relationship, was homeless, and unemployed.

“Now I have everything I need. There’s no excuse for me not to succeed,” Carrigan said.

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And her success isn’t just defined by helping her two teenage daughters get around, it’s giving back, helping the chronically homeless.

“I can also help people that I work for now, with my own vehicle. Because they need rides places,” Carrigan said.

The truck of the car was also packed with some back-to-school items for Darci’s daughters as well as gift cards for gas and a year’s worth of free car washes.