Fallen Soldier's Son Receives Emotional Birthday Gift From Dad 15 Years Later

Chisom Ndianefo
Lt. Jonathan David Rozier And Justin

U.S. Army First Lt. Jonathan Rozier lost his life in 2003 while serving on a mission and Iraq leaving behind his wife Jessica and their 9-month-old son Justin. Their baby boy is all grown up now and received an emotional birthday gift from his late dad, this piece will bring tears to your eyes and joy to your hearts.

Keep reading for the details.

A Tragic Death

Army Lt. Jonathan David Rozier was only 25 when an unexploded rocket-propelled grenade killed him in Baghdad on July 19, 2003, adding to the thousands of fallen United States soldiers on an overseas mission.

Jessica And The Baby

His wife, Jessica Johns, who spoke with him a few hours before his death now had to make a very quick, but important decision after being left behind to cater for their 9-month-old who'll grow up without a father. It involved selling off Rozier's 1999 black Toyota Celica convertible.

Jessica Returned The Car

United States Army
Flickr | World War Pics

Johns returned the car to Toyota, forfeiting the loan to help offset Justin's daycare bills as she didn't want anything chipping away at her savings and paying for a car "nobody was using."

"It was just sitting in my driveway, Johns recalls."

The young woman then went about her business, completely putting the car behind her.

An August Visitor, Literally!

In August 2017, she then stumbled on the car registration documents while searching for a misplaced birth certificate and it triggered an influx of many memories which also came with a golden idea.

Justin Deserves A 16th Birthday Gift

Johns felt the old car would be an ideal gift for Justin, who now has his permit and was planning to get his driver's license when he turned 16 the next October (2018), and also a tribute to his late father.

“I wonder if this car is still out there? I was thinking I would go on a years-long search to find this car.”

The Search Begins

Johns, 36, a hunt coordinator for Santa Cruz Ranch, began the search by posting the car on her story on Facebook on August 11 and asked social media users for help which means she has more than a year to track the vehicle down and present it to her son.

A Big Challenge

Despite the head start, the challenge of keeping it a secret from the 15-year-old worried Johns. The only way to stay low is to keep Justin away from social media by every means possible.

Fortunately, Johns got a hit back in a few days as the daughter of the car owner in Utah texted her on Facebook.

Another Mild Challenge

The daughter, however, issued a disclaimer that her father might now want to sell it but gave Johns his phone number.

"If I call and he doesn't want to sell it, then my hopes would be crushed," Johns said. "It took me 12 hours to get the courage to call him."

The car owner called back and offered to sell it back. A move that prompted Johns to open a GoFundMe to raise funds for the purchase and refurbish.

The Big Reveal

Following a complete revamp and purchase, the car was presented to Justin on his 16th birthday, and she described it as "emotional" because she never saw John drive the car at home before his tragic death.