WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. - A master sergeant with the U.S. Air Force got quite a surprise Thursday night at The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, when friends surprised him by revealing they had completely refurbished his car while he was deployed.
Master Sergeant Matt Feldhouse left for the Middle East in April. Shortly before he was sent out, the engine in his Honda Prelude stopped working. He had just purchased it in 2012, with thoughts of spending a great deal of time retooling it.
"It was my baby. I kept it in my garage," Feldhouse said.
After Feldhouse was deployed, a group of friends from Feldhouse's church decided to see what they could do to get his car back to operating level.
Dan McNeel, head of the body shop at Bill Currie Ford in Tampa, was one of the men from that group. He helped spearhead a months-long effort to refurbish the car at his shop, with help from donations of both time and labor from friends and businesses.
"God blessed me through these men," Feldhouse said.
McNeel estimated well over $10,000 worth of work went into retooling the car.
Feldhouse said he expects it will keep driving for quite a while.
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