A cop stopped a man who was driving erratically. He walked up to his window not knowing what to expect, and he noticed the man looked somewhat distraught. When he saw what was sitting on his dashboard, he understood why, and by the time he left the man, he was also in tears.
William Jazwinski, a veteran, was driving one morning when he saw a police car pull up behind him and flash its lights in his rearview mirror. It was immediately obvious the cop was pulling him over, but what happened next shocked him.
The veteran instantly pulled over and rolled down his window, but he wasn’t quite sure what he had done wrong. Concerned he might have been speeding, Jazwinski said, “Good morning officer,” before asking, “Was I speeding?” after the cop approached his vehicle.
To Jazwinski’s surprise, the officer replied, “No, not speeding. Just wanted to stop you and say thank you for your service.” The veteran quickly realized that the cop must have seen the military bumper sticker on the back of his truck. Touched, Jazwinski thanked the officer and began to share a bit about his military service.
The two talked briefly about Jazwinski’s service. After Jazwinski told the officer that he had served 15 months in Iraq, the cop revealed a shockingly sad surprise of his own — his own son had died while serving in Iraq. “Man, I’m sorry,” Jazwinski said, telling the officer that he had just completed a PTSD program.
The officer then noticed what Jazwinski had on the dashboard of his truck — a flag that matched the one he received after his son passed away. That’s when the unnamed cop proceeded to make an unusual request of Jazwinski. “Do you mind stepping out and receiving a hug?” the officer asked, according to Jazwinski. “You remind me of my son. I pulled you over. I thought you were him. I still don’t believe it most days he’s gone.”
Of course, without hesitation, Jazwinski got out of his truck and gave the officer a hug. “With tears in both our eyes I got out and hugged that man,” Jazwinski wrote in a post on his Facebook page. “I’m talking about for a minute or two crying. Down to our knees crying. I needed that,” he continued, describing the long, emotional embrace.
“To all the family and friends of soldiers, fighting or done fighting, God bless you,” Jazwinski added. “Your peace and your hearts. It’s so hard without them, I know. This road is a tremendous one. Love to all.”
“God Bless you sir and thank you for your service glad you made it home safe, so sorry you suffer from PTSD,” one social media user commented after reading the touching story. “We love you and are so proud of you for serving our country.”
“Thank you for your service and thank you for what you did for that policeman it was an awesome thing that you did for him when he lost something so precious for himself,” yet another reader added.
“This one brought tears to my eyes!!” another commenter wrote. “A father lost a son and finds comfort with a young man with PTSD right out treatment!! Great story guys. Hope you two stay in touch!!”
“Teary-eyed also as I feared, yet prayed, every day my son was in Afghanistan that I wouldn’t receive a flag like that. God answered my prayers and brought my son home whole, to a point,” one fellow military parent wrote as another concluded, “It is times like this when we realize the ultimate truth of life… Love is all that matters in this world and beyond. God bless all of you.”
Losing a child has to be the hardest thing any parent can go through. Sadly, when our brave men and women in the military make the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country, the loss sends out ripples, like a stone thrown into a lake. Not only are wives often made widows or husbands widowers when a soldier lays down their life, but a parent loses a child — a pain most of us can’t even begin to imagine.
So, while we thank our military members — past, present, and future — we also extend our gratitude to their family members who know that their loved one might not make it home — just like this police officer’s son. Thank God, his path crossed with veteran William Jazwinski at a moment that it sounds like they both needed it most.