Teen Of Fallen Soldier Receives His Late Dad's Beloved Car
For his 16th birthday, he received an extra special birthday present - his late father's favorite car.
Justin Rozier was only 9 months old when his father, Army Lt. Jonathan Rozier, was killed on July 19, 2003, while serving in Iraq.
His mother Jessica Johns, decided to sell the 1999 Toyota Celica convertible back to the dealer to help pay for the funeral. But, with Justin's sweet 16 approaching, Jessica had an idea. What if she could give her son his dad's favorite car for his birthday?
She took to Facebook for some help and posted her idea, the car's vehicle identification number along with a picture of the car.
"It was Jon's car (1LT Jonathan Rozier, KIA Iraq 7-19-03) and when he died, I wasn't thinking ahead to when Justin (his son) would be driving 15 years later," she wrote. "If you facebookers could work your magic and help me find it, it would be an amazing present for his 16th birthday if it hasn't become a tin can by now."
Just days later, she heard from the daughter of the owner of the car, who gave Jessica her dad's contact information. "It took me 12 hours to get the courage to call him," Johns recalled.
They ended up talking and getting nowhere, but about an hour later the man calls Jessica back and tells her, "I think that your son will get more enjoyment out of having his dad's car than I would."
Jessica was thrilled... but she was even more excited when a Utah-based group named Follow the Flag contacted her. With a mission to promote patriotism, the organization started a crowdsource fundraiser to pay for the car, restore the vehicle, and transport it back to Texas for Justin's birthday.
"Imagine the feeling of holding the steering wheel of a car your late father once drove. A father you never knew. A father who died in the line of duty serving his country," the group's co-founder, Kyle Fox, wrote on the GoFundMe page. "What a priceless gift."
The restoration and detailing took less than 2 months to complete and was presented to Justin a few weeks before his birthday. When Justin realized he was receiving his late-father's convertible, he was entirely overwhelmed with gratitude.
Justin and Jessica are grateful for the support and kindness they received from these strangers. We hope when people read this, they'll be inspired to spread kindness too.
Story Credit: Today Show