When U.S. Army veteran William Jazwinski keeps a folded flag in his truck to remind him of his 15-month tour of Iraq. He never suspected it would give an officer cause to pull him over.
Nevertheless, William saw flashing lights in his rearview mirror one day. He would later recall his unusual interaction with the officer on Facebook:
Me – Good morning officer. Was I speeding?
Officer – Good morning, no not speeding. Just wanted to stop ya and say thank you for your service.
Me – Oooh the bumper sticker, nice. You’re welcome sir. My pleasure.
Officer – Where did you serve?
Me – I went to Iraq. Did a 15 monther. Out of Ft Benning.
Officer – Well alright. My son went to Iraq. He didn’t make it home.
Me – Man, I’m so sorry to hear that. I just finished a PTSD program.
Officer – I see you have a flag in the truck. The one we got for him! Well it’s at the house.
Can I ask a question?
Me – sure.
Officer – Do you mind stepping out and receiving a hug. 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.”
“With tears in both our eyes I got out and hugged that man,” the veteran recalled. “I’m talking about for a minute or two crying. Down to our knees crying. I needed that. To all the family and friends of soldiers, fighting or done fighting, God bless you. Your peace and your hearts. It’s so hard without them, I know. This road is a tremendous one. Love to all.”
Readers, understandably moved by this story, left a flurry of heartfelt comments on William’s Facebook page. “What a beautiful story,” one person wrote. “God Bless all our service men and women and their sacrifice to protect this country.”
“I am so grateful for your support and service as well as the officer’s son— if it wasn’t for your sacrifices and the others that sacrifice their lives for us back at home… we would not have our freedom,” another commenter agreed. “Thanks for your service and your sacrifices, from my heart and soul I am so grateful God bless you all, amen.”
A third person applauded the police officer’s moving gesture: “And God bless the officer who stopped the car to thank the veteran!! That created a life changing event which has changed lives!”