He had been minding his own business when something surprising happened. He saw a cop car tailing him! When something like this happens, it is normal to get worried. What could possibly be going on?
There’s absolutely nothing worse than looking in your rear view mirror to see a police car following you. The feeling that you’re about to be asked to step out of your car and receive an expensive ticket, its terrifying. However, this happens far too often and sometimes drivers are stopped not just stopped because of speeding.
Usually we panic right away because we expect a ticket to come our way. We do our best to avoid a situation like that, but sometimes we get pulled over for different reasons. This is exactly what happened to William Jazwinski.
He Got Pulled Over
William was just going for a casual drive around the town when he got pulled over by a police officer. This young man was confused since he was not aware that he did something wrong.
Shaking In His Boots
He was always a good driver with no history of tickets or accidents. He couldn’t understand why he was being stopped. He could never have expected what happened next when the cop proceeded to exit his vehicle.
The cop got out of his patrol car and approached him slowly, looked at him for a few seconds, and then glanced at his car’s dashboard. This was not going to be your regular interaction…
A Cop Car
He looked out through his rear view mirror and saw the red, white, and blue flashing lights. William knew what this meant, and his suspicions were confirmed when he heard the classic police siren start to wail.
Whats To Come
His heart was racing and a million questions were running through his mind. Still nothing made sense to him and he didn’t understand why he was being pulled over. He was trying to calm down when the police offer proceeded to his window.
He could not help but feel confused. After all, he knew that he was not speeding or doing anything illegal. Despite this, the only thing he could do was to hear what this cop had to say.
The Waiting Game
It did not make a single lick of sense to him. William had never been pulled over before. Why was this cop pulling him over? He was frustrated by what was happening because he was a law-abiding citizen.
There was no way he would not follow the orders given by the cop. He pulled over to the side and waited for the cop had to say to him. It felt like he had to wait a lifetime for the cop to finally go up to him.
Asking The Question
The cop came up to him, so he opened the window and greeted the officer. The young man asked why he got pulled over, wondering if he had been speeding without noticing it. “Good morning officer, was I speeding?” he said.
He was doing his best to not disrespect the police offer as he was an authority figure. He didn’t want any trouble but he also wasn’t sure the reasoning for being pulled over. In a calm and polite tone he continued with his question.
What’s The Hold Up
Once more, it felt like an eternity has passed before the cop gave him the answer to the question. It looked like he was taking his time and had been in no rush to respond. What did he say?
William was very surprised when he heard the cop tell him that he was going to be receiving a ticket. To be fair, he really wasn’t. “Good morning,” the police officer told him. “No, not speeding.”
As a matter of fact, the cop then told him that he did not get pulled over for any particular reason. This only made William feel even more lost, and an awkward silence ensued between these two men.
What Could It Be
If he wasn’t being pulled over for a specific reason then why was he being pulled over. William was getting nervous and a bit scared. There had to be some kind of reason for the police offer to stop him in the middle of the afternoon.
An Unexpected Outing
William waited hesitantly for what the cop was about to say. He was confused and inpatient but then finally the officer then told him something that took William by complete surprise. This was surely not what he expected!
Just Thanking Him
It turns out that the cop just pulled him over because he had something that he wanted to say to William. “Just wanted to stop you and say thank you for your service,” explained the cop.
How Did He Know?
Exactly what kind of service was the officer thanking William for? Moreover, how did he even know that the young man had ever done service of that sort? William was starting to get quite confused.
Did They Know Each Other?
This young man was more than shocked that a random cop that he had never met before would know a thing like that. Had the two of them met each other in the past or something?
His Bumper Sticker
William soon realized the reason the officer knew about it. He momentarily forgot about the bumper sticker that he had on the back of the pickup truck. Anyone who saw it would know that he served in the army in the past.
Often army veterans put stickers on their cars. For a William, its common that another driver may wave their hand or honk their horn as a way to thank you for his service. But never before had William been actually stopped by a policeman.
When he realized this, he warmly thanked the officer. “Oooh the bumper sticker, nice. You’re welcome sir,” he said. “My pleasure.” This did not mark the end of their encounter, however. Quite the contrary, it was only the beginning for him.
Just The Beginning
William was ready to end the conversation there when the police officer did not let him go. He never saw this coming and neither did we. But what happened next was a beautiful moment exchanged between these two.
A Few Questions
The officer did not let William go just yet, however. He still had a couple of questions for the young veteran. In particular, the cop wanted to know where he was posted. “Where did you serve?” asked the officer.
Something Seems Fishy
In the beginning, William could not help but feel skeptical about what was going on. He could tell that this was not the job of a police officer to ask him about his service in the military. Did he answer?
About His Service
In the end, he gave the cop the answer to the question by telling him that he had been a heavy wheeled vehicle operator and just returned from a country in the Middle East.
Wants To Move On
“I went to Iraq,” he said. “Did a 15 monther out of Fort Benning.” He only wanted to go on with his civilian life, so he did not expect to get pulled over for his time in the army.
Not Making Sense
However, the cop had a reason to be curious about his time in Iraq. William had no idea why this cop was asking him so many questions about his time in the military and it was making him nervous.
His Own Motive
To William it seemed like the Cop was just interested in his service and he didn’t really understand why he had to stop him while he was on his way. But in reality this cop had entirely different motives of his own.
Like His Son
It was then that the police officer told William that he had a son who also served there recently. “Well alright. My son went to Iraq,” said the cop. It was the reason that he pulled over this young man.
Seeing Things Differently
He only wanted to learn more about someone who went through the same things that his son did. He later gave more information about the time his son spent in Iraq. It made William see things in a new light.
Change Of Heart
William no longer felt confused or scared. Instead he understood the man. However, he had just finished a PTSD program and it was still new for him to speak about the experiences he went through in war.
He Died There
After this, the conversation took a shocking turn. What the cop had to say next gave William quite a shock. He thought he had it all figured it out and then he was given some unexpected news. Let’s just say he did not expect this when he woke up that morning.
He died while on duty. “He didn’t make it home,” the officer told the young man. He clearly struggled to get the words out of his mouth. It was so sad that it broke William’s heart. The only thing he could do was to listen.
William could not help but feel bad for the cop. He was thinking of this cop who lost his son in Iraq while he was out here enjoying his life like normal after coming back.
The veteran could not do much else but to express his condolences for this grieving father. “Man, I’m so sorry to hear that,” he told the older man. After this, the cop regained his composure and almost let William be when he saw something on the dashboard.
His Folded Flag
As the police officer lifted his head and nearly let the young man go, he saw something curious resting on the dashboard of his car. It was a US flag that had been deliberately folded.
During a funeral of the US Military, an american flag is lowered and folded 13 times into a triangle, to represent the lost lives of served soldiers. The flag is folded 13 times, each fold signifying something different.
Caught His Eye
“I see you have a flag in the truck,” said the cop. He folded the flag in an army custom meant to honor the fallen soldiers who fought for the country. What was it about the flag that caught the attention of this police officer?
Just Like That
The moment he saw the folded-up flag on the dashboard, he thought about the same folded flag that he himself had home. It was given to him by the army in memory of his son.
He Has The Same One
“The one we got for him! Well it’s at the house,” said the cop. It was then that the older man asked William for a favor. “Can I ask a question?” William did not hesitate to oblige. This question took him by total surprise.
Out For A Spin
William got up early on that beautiful spring morning and decided to take his pickup truck out for a ride. It was his day off, so he was free to do anything he wanted that day.
He liked the idea of going down a quiet street in New York, without any traffic to get in his way. It was then that he glanced in the rear view mirror and saw the cop car that was on his tail.
Asking For A Hug
At that exact moment, the police officer nervously asked the veteran to step out of the pickup truck and embrace him! “Do you mind stepping out and receiving a hug?” asked the sad police officer.
Knew He Was Upset
William was initially surprised by this request. After all, it is not every day that you get pulled over by a police officer who then asks you to hug them. He could tell this cop was upset, though.
Couldn’t Say No
This was not a regular situation, however. After asking that question, the police officer burst into tears and told him something that made an impact on him. William was left with no choice in the matter.
The Reason Why
Tears started to fall down the cop’s face as he bared his soul to the young man. The cop then explained to William that he got pulled over because the veteran and his son had similarities.
A Constant Reminder
“You remind me of my son. I pulled you over,” this cop said. “Thought you were him. I still don’t believe it most days he’s gone.” The only thing William had to do was to oblige the request and give the poor man a hug.
A Warm Embrace
William could not hold back his tears either. As he got out of the vehicle, he opened his arms and “hugged that man.” He later recounted, “With tears in both our eyes I got out and hugged that man.”
A Stranger’s Love
After all the time and pain he spent out in the field, he was humbled to give this stranger a soft and warm embrace. Even though this was the first time that he met the police officer, this hug meant a lot to him.
Both men had been hysterically crying when they hugged one another. The war veteran and on-duty police officer had a deep heart-to-heart talk. This emotional embrace that they shared went on for quite some time.
He Also Needed A Hug
“I’m talking about for a minute or two crying,” William explained. “Down to our knees crying.” While the cop had been the one to ask for a hug, this young man could not deny that he needed this just as much as he did.
They Needed It
While his conscience was completely unaware of it back then, William had to admit that he truly needed a hug. Like most war veterans in the world, he had just finished a PTSD program himself.
It was a program that helped to rehabilitate servicemen and prepare them to go back into civilian life after going through the cruel conditions of Iraq. “I just finished a PTSD program,” he informed the officer.
They Needed This
It was the last thing that he needed to finally move on and get on with his life. Neither of them knew it at the time, but they needed each other and the hug they both received.
Shell Shock Or PTSD
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that came about after specialists noticed a pattern occurring with war veterans. Their experiences were so traumatic that they carried with them after leaving their service.
With this type of disorder, the Veteran may believe that his life or other individual’s lives are in danger. He or she may also feel like that they have lost complete control of his/her situation. This is very common among war veterans and is what William has been dealing with in his group.
Time To Reflect
William took some time to think about what happened that afternoon. Every time he imagined the exchange, his heart grew warm. He felt like this story was too remarkable to keep to himself so he did something about it.
A Beautiful Message
A couple of weeks after this encounter, William posted the story on Facebook and described what happened on the road. By the end of that strange and extraordinary meeting, William had a brand new perspective.
William learned a lot of things after the cop pulled him over. He wanted to share them all with others. “To all the family and friends of soldiers, fighting or done fighting, God bless you…”
“…Your peace and your hearts,” he said in the post. “It’s so hard without them, I know. This road is a tremendous one. Love to all.” William had no idea that his life would change today.
It Went Viral
It did not take a long time at all before the social media post reached the hearts of people from all over the world. Through “Love What Matters,” the post got more than 48,000 reactions!
People who also experienced losing someone on duty could understand what the saddened cop had been going through internally. “I lost my son in Iraq May 3 2004. He was only 26,” one user said.
People all around related to William and he was overwhelmed with their responses. People thanked him for his service, while others shared their stories. People had so much to say and they were inspired by William.
“Not a day goes by I don’t miss and love him. I wonder what he would be like now, I miss him so much.” Unlike many men deployed abroad, William got the opportunity to come back.
Now A Father
After the life-changing encounter, his life went in new directions. Perhaps the biggest change was that he now has a little girl that he loves very much. Hearing the story of the cop shook him to the core.
A Father Of His Own
It made him realize just how quickly one can die, so he started to value the time he spent with the people he loves. William now gets to call himself the father of a girl.
An Amazing Person
We are sure that he is doing a good job at childrearing! Judging by how warm of a heart he had with a total stranger police officer, we have no doubt that his heart is full with his own child!
These two people may be strangers but they happened to be at the right place at the time. William was going through a hard time himself, and this cops story made him truly grateful for his life and was appreciative for the police officer stopping him that day.
The Ultimate Sacrifice
Losing a child is one of the hardest things a parent can experience. The brave men and women who serve in the military risk their lives to serve our country. Wives and husbands can become widows, but losing a child is a feeling we can not begin to fathom.
We say thank you to those who risk their lives in the military, past, present, and future, but we also say thank you to the families of these members. As they have to deal with the sorrow that their loved ones may not make it home.