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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Sgt. Ivan Sears, with Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, was given a car by Martin Johnson, a Vietnam veteran and native of Maysville, at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Feb. 17. Johnson donated the car, a 2003 Lincoln Towncar, in honor of his wife Fran, who passed away over year ago.

Photo by Lance Cpl Ned Johnson

Retired sailor donates wife’s car to wounded warrior

25 Feb 2016 | Lance Cpl. Ned Johnson Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Sixty-two years ago, Martin Johnson joined the Navy to see the world — and after two years in Vietnam, he didn’t have a scratch.

            “I don’t know why the good Lord spared me,” he said. “ I got shot at a lot, but never actually got shot.”

            Thinking that he had been blessed led Johnson to help a wounded warrior by donating the car of his wife, whom died over a year ago.

When his wife died, Johnson was unsure if he wanted to sell the vehicle, but ultimately decided he wanted to donate it to someone who had been wounded in combat.

            “I figure a person who has been through combat knows things and sees things that civilians don’t,” said Johnson, a native of Maysville. “This young man has seen things he will never forget, and that is the kind of person I wanted the car to go to.”

            Sgt. Ivan Sears, who received the 2003 Lincoln Towncar, was wounded while deployed with 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment in Afghanistan in October 2010.

            “It will definitely help us out,” said Sears, “I’m very grateful.”

            Sears has a son whose car seat will fit in the vehicle to allow Sears to travel with him.

            Sears will be having the car outfitted with hand controls so that he can drive it.

            Johnson received a certificate of appreciation from the commanding officer of WWBN-E, Lt. Col. John Kelley.

            “We are appreciative of your donation and Sears is a great Marine,” Kelley said. “This is what this battalion is all about.”

            Sears, who competes in hand cycling and running in the Paralympics, will be moving to San Antonio, Texas soon. 

“I wish you all of the blessings in the world,” said Johnson. “It was a great car for my wife and has been well maintained, and I hope it will be for you too.”