Sgt. Joshua Searcy comes home to a restored dream

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Staff Sgt. Joshua Searcy received quite a surprise Sunday afternoon. And his response to the nearly 100 people gathered on Spence Road (Ga. Highway 92 just into Fulton County) to see him receive a completely restored 1966 Dodge Charger was, “This is just unbelievable.”

The surprise presentation represented the combined efforts of the North Georgia MOPAR Club, family friend Joe Suchy, in whose garage the rebuild occurred, Searcy’s parents and north Fayette County residents Frank and Kathy Searcy and a host of other family and friends determined to keep the surprise intact until just the right moment.

Searcy is home from a tour in South Korea and will soon depart to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. And he had long wanted to rebuild the legendary Charger, but that desire turned into a wide smile and near disbelief Sunday afternoon when he exited the basement of Joe Suchy’s home.

Searcy exited the home to find that nearly 100 people had gathered there, cheering as he got his first glimpse of the vintage muscle car.

“This is just unbelievable. This is beyond what I had planned for it. I can’t begin to tell everyone thank you. But thank you,” Searcy said to the cheering crowd of friends and MOPAR members that had come from from as far away as north Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina for the occasion. “Is this where I’m supposed to say I’m a staff sergeant and I’ve been overhauled?”

Searcy’s father, Frank, said word of Joshua’s desire to rebuild the car spread from family friend Joe Suchy to the North Georgia MOPAR Club nearly two years ago. From there, and while Searcy was in Korea, club members decided to go for a complete restoration as a part of the club’s efforts for members of the military. And over the succeeding years club members donated the parts needed for the extensive project.

“It was two years in the making and everybody managed to keep it secret the whole time,” Frank Searcy said, smiling ear to ear.