Utah community tracks down, restores fallen soldier’s car

Local News

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Community members in Pleasant Grove are celebrating the final touches being put on a 1999 Toyota Celica, before it’s sent off to Texas.

What is a car? For some, it’s four wheels and an engine that gets you from A to B.
For Jorge Cruz this 99 Celica convertible was his dream car.

“I am originally from Guatemala and as a teenager a Celica is just a dream for me,” said Cruz.

Just last month Cruz gladly sold it to Kyle Fox of Follow the Flag. It’s a local group which tries to help veterans and show their patriotism in any way they can.

Fox and others had been looking for the car since seeing a post from a Texas woman on a random Pleasant Grove Facebook page.

“The second I read into it a little bit deeper I knew it was something I’d love to be a part of,” said Fox.

That woman was Jessica Johns who lives just outside San Antonio. The car belonged to her husband Army Lieutenant Jonathan Rozier who was killed in Iraq in July of 2003. He left behind Jessica with their 9-month-old son Justin.

More than 14 years later, Justin is about to get his permit and his mom wanted to try and get back the car they drove him home in after he was born.

“Yeah I saw a lot of things happen and a lot of miracles happen.”

Through a GoFundMe account they could purchase the car and had a $1,000 for repairs. But they wouldn’t need it because eight local shops donated the time and parts to restore it.

“The look of the car is not as important to me right now because of all the stories and the micro miracles to make it even happen,” said Ken Murdock, owner of AF Collision Repair.

So many put so much love into this project because they know how much just how much love was once behind its wheel.

“We did put some touches of it to our own, but defiantly the soldier Jonathan’s spirit has come out in this car.”

Fox and his friend Art along with their sons are driving the car to Texas. They plan to meet Jessica and Jonathan’s former platoon when they present the car to Justin on his birthday.

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