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Fallen Soldier's Old Car Has Finally Returned Home Just In Time For His Son's 16th Birthday

A Texas teen has been dealing with the loss of his father for as long as he can remember. Justin Rozier was only 9 months old when his father, Army Lt. Jonathan Rozier, died while serving in Iraq. It was 2003 when his father passed away, but his influence remains present to this day.

His mother obviously had to find some way to make enough money to support her family, so she ended up selling her husband's 1999 Toyota Celica because she couldn't afford it. That was back in 2003, but now she had an idea that would maybe help her son handle his father's absence a little better.  

While cleaning her house she came across the registration for the old car, and had a genius idea to surprise her son. He was turning 16 soon, and to help him celebrate the milestone birthday she wanted to try and find the car.

She posted the information on Facebook so that she could find the exact vehicle that her husband had driven. She hoped that her friends and family could help her track it down and boy, did they deliver!

The people she knew were able to use their connections and resources to figure out that the car had ended up in Utah. By narrowing it down Justin's mother, Jessica Johns, was able to contact the police in the area. They informed her that while they couldn't reveal his information, they could tell her that the car was still in operation.

Now that they knew the area, they could share the post with people nearby and after only a few days the owner of the car was found. The daughter of the vehicle owner saw the post, but she wasn't sure if her father would be willing to part with it. “It took me 12 hours to get the courage to call him,” Johns said.

When she finally got up the courage to call him, Johns told her story. He took a day to think about it but then agreed to sell her the car. She said that "We've been in contact with the owner and he's selling us the car for Justin!!! He said he really loves the little car but he knows it will mean more to Justin. My faith in humanity is strong today. Thank you so much to everyone who helped us find it!! Old girl is coming home!"

A fundraising organization called Follow the Flag heard about this story and then decided to help raise funds to pay for the vehicle. “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.”

Justin's birthday party was an epic event. The car arrived and Johns said she will never forget the look on his face when he realized what it was. "I was waiting for him, for it to click that’s Dad’s car,” she said. “He starts looking at it, gets in. He looks so much like his dad."

Even though his father couldn't be there for his birthday, at least Justin has this small part of him to carry on with him.

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com