Hennessy Honda was full of excitement on June 3 as a local veteran received the gift of a car through the generosity of a number of area individuals.

Veteran Charlie Anderson walked away from the dealership with the 2013 Honda Accord thanks to Terry and Diane Downs, who donated the car, and family members of former Army Airborne Ranger Christian Stevens.

Terry Downs said the car had initially belonged to his adopted son Gregg, who lived in Florida and worked as a sous chef. After Gregg Downs died in late 2018, Terry and Diane Downs came into possession of their son’s car and discussed what to do with it.

“We found the car and the keys for it when we were cleaning out some of his stuff,” Terry Downs said. “We thought it would be appropriate to donate it.”

Despite it taking a year and a half to obtain the title from Florida, the Downs were able to move forward with their plans to donate the car, with others stepping into the picture to help move things along. Among those who assisted during the process was Christian Stevens and his family, Operation Santa (a local organization dedicated to sending gifts to American troops overseas at Christmastime) and Post 12002 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Alpharetta. Prior to his recent death, Christian Stevens was aware of the need Anderson had for a new vehicle, as his previous car had been lost in an accident and had not yet been able to obtain a replacement.

“His heart was with them, and he wanted them to be taken care of,” Angel Stevens said of Christian’s desire to help Anderson and his family.

Special thanks was also given to Hennessy Honda, The Dent Elite and Ultimate North Georgia Automotive Detail for helping make the day possible.

Following the presentation of the vehicle, Anderson expressed how ecstatic and blessed he felt to be the recipient of this car. Describing the car as having sentimental value, this value increased with Christian Stevens not being able to be present and said it was almost like Stevens’ dying wish was for Anderson to have the car.

“It really means more than words can explain,” Anderson said. “This car is invaluable. It’s a life-changing event for me.”

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