Stranger gifts custodian free car in the wake of her Marine son's death

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Florida auto dealer surprised a woman with a free car after he saw her walk a mile to her job almost every day.

"The lady's been walking by here for about two or three weeks," Richard Newberry, owner of Spooner's Tires and Auto, told WTSP-TV.

On Friday, the woman walked by Newberry's shop as usual. A saddened look on her face prompted Newberry to talk to her.

"She started crying, like breaking down after a minute or two," he said. "I was like, 'I'm your friend, I've been in this boat. I've been where you're at, and I've made it through it.'"

That's when the woman, Ernestina Nunez, told him about her daily walk to Dixie Hollins High School, where she works as a custodian.

Newberry offered to sell Nunez a car for $600, WTSP reported. Nunez said she couldn't afford it.

He lowered the price a couple hundred dollars. She told him she still couldn't afford the car at that price.

Ultimately, despite Nunez' objections, Newberry gave her the car for free.

Nunez later revealed that a source of her sadness had been grief -- she was mourning the loss of her son.

"My son was a former Marine, and he had PTSD, and he ended up taking his life," she said. "So he left me with nothing. Because he was the only thing I had."

This month marks a year since Nunez' son, Daniel Nunez, committed suicide.

"I want every single serviceman to put their job behind, and leave it behind, and continue with what they're supposed to continue doing in life," Ernestina Nunez said. "They do a job and they do it well. They go out there and a fight for this country and then they come home carrying the weight on their shoulders. And, I want to tell them that it's only a job they're that performing and they’re doing it very well. I don't want any marines or any servicemen to carry that on their shoulder. They go out of this country and fight for this country and I want them to take it as a job. Do it well done, come home and forget all about what they had done. Just put it behind."

"I thank this man," Ernestina Nunez said of Newberry. "Because he got tired of seeing me walking back and forth to work ... He's given me hope on life."


Posted by Richard Newberry on Friday, July 29, 2016
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