As William rolled down his car window, he asked the officer what he’d done wrong, but the officer said he hadn’t been speeding. He just wanted to take the time to thank William for his service in the military. The police officer had seen the military sticker on the back of his truck, and thought William looked like his own son.
William explained that he’d recently returned from service in Iraq after 15 months. The officer told him that his own son hadn’t made it back from Iraq.
“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,” the officer said.The officer asked for a hug, so William got out of his truck and the two men embraced. He’d just gotten out of his post-traumatic stress syndrome rehabilitation meeting, so the hug was welcomed.
William Jazwinski wrote an account of their conversation:
Me- Goodmorning officer. Was i speeding?
Officer- Goodmorning, no not speeding. Just wanted to stop ya and say thankyou for your service.
Me- oooh the bumper sticker, nice. Your 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 didnt make it home.
Me- man, im so sorry to hear that. I just finished a p tsd program.
Officer- i see you have a flag in the truck. The one we got for him! Well its at the house. Can i ask a question?
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 dont believe it most days hes gone.
With tears in both our eyes i got out and hugged that man. Im talking about for a minute or two crying. Down to our knees crying. I needed that.
William ends his post by saying, “To all the family and friends of soldiers, fighting or done fighting, God bless you. Your peace and your hearts. Its so hard without them, i know. This road is a tremendous one. Love to all.”