Jessica Johns wanted to do something special for her son Justin, whose dad died in Iraq in 2003. So she went on a quest to find her husband’s 1999 Toyota Celica, which she had sold about 14 years prior. NBC News reports how the generosity of strangers reunited 15-year-old Justin with his Dad’s old car.
Jessica decided to reach out on Facebook this past summer to see if anyone could help her find her late husband’s Celica convertible. As you can see in the video below, she received a bigger response than anyone could possibly have imagined:
According to NBC News, a rocket-propelled grenade killed 25-year-old Lt. Jonathan David Rozier in the summer of 2003 in Bagdad. Not long after, according to the news site, Jessica decided to sell his Celica convertible, as she no longer needed it.
Fast forward about 14 years to this past August, and—while looking through some of her documents—Jessica spotted the car’s registration and had an idea: perhaps she could find the car and give it to her son when he turned 16.
So she posted this on Facebook:
A few days after Jessica’s post went up, the daughter of the car’s owner messaged Jessica on Facebook. Jessica then called the owner up, who agreed to sell the Celica, which was located in Pleasant Grove, Utah, according to CBS Evening News. That’s when Follow The Flag, a Utah-based organization whose mission is to “inspire patriotism in others,” collected donations to help finance the purchase of the car, and even spent a month and a half restoring the black sixth-gen Celica.
Once Follow The Flag was done with the repair work, its founder Kyle Fox, drove the vehicle to Johns’s house in Moore, Texas, where Justin received the keys to his dad’s convertible in what was clearly an amazing but emotional 15th birthday.