JOPLIN, Mo. - David James Miduski, a Navy veteran, lost everything in the tornado from his home to his car.
For the last year, all he wanted was a vehicle to begin getting his life back on track.
He was almost there a few months ago, when he gave someone thousands of dollars to help him buy a car.
That man took off with the money and is now being investigated.
The legal aid workers who heard Mr. Miduski's story were so touched by his struggles, that they passed his story on to Cars 4 Heroes.
Tuesdsay morning, on the anniversary of the tornado that took everything from him, Miduski got a free van from Cars 4 Heroes and founder Terry Franz, also known as Car Santa.
The Kansas City-based organization drove the car down that morning.
A tearful Miduski was nearly speechless when handed the keys.
"It has been hard," he said. "I'm thankful to be alive."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Latest Missouri News
Officials with Goodwill are searching for relatives of a World War II veteran whose medals -- including the Silver Star and Purple Heart -- somehow wound up inside a suburban St. Louis Goodwill store.