Teen son of fallen soldier receives surprise gift — it’s all he ever wanted!

It is not unusual for children to have something from their parents. Some families have heirlooms that they pass on from generations to generations. Simple things acquire sentimental value. These things are not a matter of monetary value, they are imbued with tradition and memories that make a person cherish them.

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This is exactly what a teen in Texas wanted when he wished to have something from his late father. Justin has no memory of his father who died young. However, it did not stop him from having a little something that would be a connection to his dad.

A 15-year-old teen had only one wish for his upcoming birthday – a car! Unlike most first-time drivers who want brand new Italian designer car, Justin Rozier wanted a car that his late father had once owned. An old beat up car that his father had cherished.

A lot of parents would have resisted the request because buying a vehicle for a teenager would usually raise car insurance, and most important it’s about their child’s safety. However, for Justin’s mom, she knew she had to do this for her son.

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Justin’s father, Army 1st Lt. Jonathan Rozier, died in Iraq in 2003 when he was only 25 and his son was just nine months old. Early in their family life, the mom and son were forced to make difficult decisions as they faced life without him Growing up without a father, he cherishes everything that belonged to his dad.

His mother, Jessica, was worried on how to fulfill his son’s wishes for when his husband died, she had to sell his car, which is a ’99 Toyota Celica convertible. Finding it again is nearly impossible.

Jessica believed that the car would connect her son to his late father.

She posted her plea on Facebook and hoped for a miracle. “Well, I’ve seen magical things happen on Facebook,” Jessica said.

Jessica posted the old VIN with a note asking for help.  She wrote:

“Can someone please help me find this car? It’s a 1999 Toyota Celica convertible with VIN jt5fg02t3x0055626.

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. 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.”

Netizens helped and shared the post until it reached Pleasant Grove, Utah. To Jessica’s surprise, the car was found and negotiations happened and the new owner is willing to sell it for Justin.


Kyle Fox, head of non-profit organization called Follow the Flag, asked donations from residents of Utah to help Jessica retrieved the car. He also assembled a team volunteer mechanics to fix it like new.

The car was hand delivered on Justin’s 15th birthday to surprise the teen.

“It’s a link to the past for him. It’s a big thing for me too. I never got to see him come home. So that just one moment right there was — I think I needed that,” Justin said.

Obviously, this is not about a car, it’s about helping a young boy reconnect with his past. Justin’s mother, Jessica, was very thankful to everyone who made it possible for the amazing birthday gift.

Photo credit: Facebook | Jessica Johns

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