Moore, Texas resident Justin Rozier never got to meet his dad. Army 1st Lieutenant Jonathan Rozier was just nine months old when he was reported missing in action while fighting abroad, leaving him and his mother, Jessica Johns, behind. Johns updated her husband about their adorable son only 12 hours before he passed away in their last conversation together. Despite the fact that it was written in 2017, this narrative has just as much relevance in modern times as it did back then.
After the sudden passing of Jonathan, Johns was left to attempt to put the shards of their life in Texas back together again. She had to find out how to survive emotionally and financially without her spouse, and she had to do it immediately. She was faced with a number of decisions, one of which required her to give up the much-loved black 1999 Toyota Celica convertible that belonged to her husband.
Despite the fact that it was very improbable for her to be successful, Johns made the decision to continue looking for the automobile so she could give it to her kid. Despite this, she had the feeling that she ought to at least give it a go for the sake of her kid. She shared her experience on social media, which sped up the process of Rozier’s narrative being disseminated around the country.
Johns said to CBS at the time, “I mean, it could have been a 1974 Dodge Astro — I don’t even know if that’s a vehicle — but it could have been anything and he would have responded, ‘Yes.'”
What is the cause? “I know that he wants his dad to be here,” she added. “I know that he wishes his dad was here.”
When Lt. Jonathan Rozier, Rozier’s father, passed away in Iraq in 2003, Rozier was only 9 months old at the time. Rozier values all his father has left him since he was deprived of the opportunity to get to know his father at such an early age.
Rozier said that “just knowing that he had it is a whole lot different than just any other thing.” “I don’t know,” he said. “It’s a whole lot different than just any other thing.”
Johns was adamant about granting her son’s birthday request in order to make him happy. She said, “I get the impression that this is something that would link him.” Finding the antique automobile would not be a simple task at all, but she needed to get the search underway at some point. Johns remembered, “Well, I’ve seen wonderful things happen on Facebook.” “Well, I’ve seen amazing things happen on Facebook.” Following that, she started a campaign on social media in an effort to find the car. Quite a few months before Rozier was to turn 16, she posted a straightforward appeal on her page along with an outdated picture of the vehicle. It was extremely essential that she conceal her plan from her son, so she devised an excuse to prevent him from accessing social media in order to fulfill this need.
“I’m curious as to whether or not this automobile is still on the road. I had the idea that I would look for this automobile for a number of years before giving up “— I quote her.
She recounted their talk and said, “I believe that your kid would get more happiness out of owning his dad’s automobile than I would,” which was her assessment of the situation. She continued by saying, “I simply became so thrilled.”
Even though the automobile had been located and was all set to be sold, there was still one obstacle to overcome: obtaining the necessary finances. This is when local resident Kyle Fox from Pleasant Grove comes in.
Fox said to CBS that the decision was made to “let’s see if we can purchase the automobile.” “Therefore, I make it a point to constantly look for opportunities to assist in some capacity.”
Through Fox’s charitable organization, Follow the Flag, which seeks to commemorate the lives of deceased troops and the families they leave behind, funds were gathered for the big surprise. After acquiring the vehicle, Fox assembled a group of local technicians who offered their services for free in order to restore it to pre-owned condition and make it seem brand new. They had to work on the ride for about a month and a half before they were able to transport it to Rozier in time for his 15th birthday. Fox said that “it’s what we do” and that “it’s something we do in the hopes of influencing others.”
At Rozier’s birthday celebration, when the surprise was finally disclosed, both he and his mother got into a fight with each other. It was a moment that warmed my heart.
“I was waiting for him, for the realization to dawn on him that it is his father’s automobile,” Johns added. “He begins to look at it, and as he enters the room, I realize that he is just like his father.”
Naturally, the whole objective to bring the automobile to Rozier wasn’t about the vehicle itself, but rather what it meant; a piece of the father he never got to know. This was the driving force behind the endeavor.
“For him, it is a connection to times gone by. It is a significant issue for me as well. I was never there to see his return to the house. That one instant, just there, was exactly what I needed, so thank you for giving it to me “Rozier stated.
And of course, it also served as a metaphor for the power that is unleashed inside a community whenever its members band together to assist a member of that community.