Justin Rozier, a resident of Moore, Texas, never met his father. As a nine-month-old infant, Army 1st Lt. Jonathan Rozier was lost while serving overseas, leaving him and his mother, Jessica Johns, alone.
She spoke to her husband 12 hours before he died, updating him on their sweet boy. This story from 2017 still resonates today as much as it did then.
See the full video at the end of this article 🙂
Johns was left to pick up the pieces of their lives after Jonathan’s untimely death. In both an emotional and a financial sense, she had to figure out how to live without her husband. She had to relinquish her husband’s beloved black 1999 Toyota Celica convertible.
As Johns told NBC, “I didn’t want to keep dipping into my savings for a car nobody used.” “It was just sitting in my driveway.”
Johns went on with her life, paying little attention to the vehicle her late husband once drove.
In 14 years, Justin Rozier is now a teenager. He cherished everything he had of his father and had always longed to know him. Despite having his father’s dog tags, photos, and other treasured possessions, he couldn’t get over the idea of having his father’s car. He tried to explain it, but he couldn’t. In a car that his dad loved, he wanted to sit in the same seat as his dad. When Rozier was just shy of 15 at the time, he had already obtained his driving permit and was planning on getting his license the following year. The perfect coming-of-age gift would be his father’s car.
It was highly unlikely that Johns would be successful in finding the car for her son. Nevertheless, she felt like she had to at least try. Rozier’s story quickly spread across the nation after she shared it on social media.
As Johns said at the time, “it could have been anything and he would have said ‘yes’,” even a 1974 Dodge Astro.
What is the reason? “I know he wishes his dad was here,” she said.
In 2003, Rozier’s father, Lt. Jonathan Rozier, d.i.e.d in I.r.a.q when he was only nine months old. Having lost his chance to get to know his father so early, Rozier cherishes everything he has.
“I don’t know, knowing that he had it — it’s a whole lot different than just anything else,” Rozier admitted.
She was determined to fulfill her son’s birthday wish. “I think this will connect him,” she said. It would not be easy to find the vintage car, but she had to start somewhere. “I’ve seen magical things happen on Facebook,” Johns said. As a result, she began a social media campaign to locate the vehicle. A year before Rozier’s 16th birthday, she posted an old photo of the car on her profile. Her plan had to be kept secret from her son, so she came up with an excuse to prevent him from using social media.
“I wonder if this car is still out there? I was planning to go on a years-long search for this car.” she said.
Pleasant Grove, Utah, was the first place the post reached, where locals discovered a ’99 Toyota convertible. She gave Johns her dad’s number, but cautioned him that he might not be too keen on selling. The situation became tense for Johns.
In an interview with NBC, Johns said, “If I call and he doesn’t want to sell it, my hopes would be crushed.” “It took me 12 hours to call him.”
She explained to the owner why buying back the car was so important to her. A little hesitant at first, he said he would think about it. After an hour, he called Johns back with the news she needed.
As she recalled their conversation, “I think your son will get more enjoyment out of having his dad’s car than I would.”. “I was really excited,” she said.
One problem remained: the funds. The car had been located and was ready to be sold. Kyle Fox, a Pleasant Grove resident, can help.
Fox told CBS, “Let’s see if we can buy the car.”. “I’m always trying to do things like that for others.”
Through his non-profit, Follow the Flag, which honors fallen soldiers and their families, Fox collected donations for the big surprise. Fox assembled a team of local mechanics to repair and restore the car after purchasing it. After refurbishing the ride for a month and a half, they were able to ship it to Rozier just in time for his 15th birthday. “It’s what we do, and it’s something we do to inspire others,” Fox said.
At Rozier’s birthday party, both he and his mother brawled over the surprise. The moment was heartwarming.
“I was waiting for him to recognize that’s dad’s car,” Johns said. “He gets in, he looks so much like his dad.”
It wasn’t about the vehicle itself, but about what it symbolized; a piece of the father he never knew.
For him, it’s a link to the past. For me, too, as I never got to see him come home. That just one moment was exactly what I needed.” Rozier said.
Furthermore, it symbolized the strength of a community when it comes together to help one another.
Let us know in the comments if Justin Rozier’s reaction brought tears to your eyes or a smile to your face. Do you have a story about the community coming together to help one of their own?
source : apost