Strangers help soldier with worn out car - KCTV5

Strangers help soldier with worn out car

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

It began at a QuikTrip convenience store.

Annette Vaughn, who was thinking about her troublesome car, noticed someone else in need. She admited that she often complained to her husband Ryan about their "junk car."

"It's old, the heat doesn't work, the locks don't work," Annette Vaughn said.

Her complaining stopped when she saw a young man at the convenience store whose car seemed to be in worse shape than hers. But this wasn't just any man, it was a soldier working underneath the hood of his car.

"I said 'gosh, if I was rich I'd buy that guy a new car.' I'm not rich and probably will never be, but something stirred within me and I know it was God leading me to take action," Annette Vaughn said.

She didn't know the man, she hadn't even seen his face, but she snapped a picture of him.

"Not intending to do anything with it, but just to remind myself of that image and how I've got to be thankful of what I have and for the people know matter what job they do in the military to serve our country," she said.

She started a quest on her Facebook page to help him the man.

"Would anybody be willing to go in with me and see if we can get a couple of people together to see if we can maybe raise some money to help this guy with car repairs or buy gas cards or something," she said she wrote.

Within a couple of hours, she had 50 people respond and money raised. But there was one problem because they didn't know who the soldier was.

"If God is in this, he is going to lead us to this person," Annette Vaughn said.

Her husband Ryan went back to the convenience store to ask for help from the employees. The managers said they would look out for the young soldier in the beat-up white car. They told their friends on Facebook and then their friends told their friends.

Within two days, someone spotted the famous beat-up white car turning into an apartment complex.

"So I turn right in to the first bay and eight cars down there's the car and my heart just skipped a beat," Ryan Vaughn said.

All their hard work paid off and they found Eythan Watts.

Watts is a specialist in the Army National Guard. He drives to Lexington, MO, each day for duty and goes to community college at night.

"I was a little weirded out at first. I was like ‘somebody is taking a picture of me at QuikTrip,'” he said with a laugh.

The Vaughn's were thrilled. Their Facebook plot had generated $5,000 in support of the soldier.

"I didn't really know how to tell them politely, ‘please don't, that's a lot of money and I don't feel comfortable with it,'" Watts said.

Initially Watts was apprehensive. He felt he didn't deserve such generosity, but the Vaughn's convinced him that he and other soldiers deserve more.

"I really could use it and someday I want to be able to pay it forward to a soldier or someone in need," he said.

The Vaughn's set up a GoFundMe page for the young soldier and his girlfriend who's also enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve. Click here to find out more and donate.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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