Serving in the U.S. military is an incredible sacrifice for the men and women who make the decision to serve their country, but it’s also a challenge for the families they leave behind.
Sometimes, they don’t come home.
More often than not, the soldiers return to their family’s loving arms. But even then, the constant worry about their safety takes its toll. Safe to say, military families everywhere could use all the support they can get.
For William Jazwinski, the support came in an unexpected way.
Jazwinski was driving home in his pickup truck one day when he was pulled over by a local police officer. Not sure what he had done wrong, Jazwinski waited patiently for the officer to come to the window and explain.
Instead, the officer just wanted to say thank you.
“Good morning officer, was I speeding?” Jazwinski remembered asking, posting a transcript of the interaction to his Facebook page. The officer replied that no, he was not speeding. Rather, he pulled him over to thank him for his service, for the officer had noticed the veteran’s bumper sticker and the American flag in his window.
“You’re welcome, sir, my pleasure,” Jazwinski replied. The officer asked where he served and Jazwinski replied he had finished a 15-month tour in Iraq not long before.
The officer said his son had also done a tour in Iraq, but unfortunately did not return. Jazwinski offered the officer his condolences and then mentioned he, too, had returned from a PTSD program during his transition back to civilian life.
But it’s the interaction that followed between the two men that quickly went viral.
“Do you mind stepping out and receiving a hug?” asked the officer. “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.”
Without hesitation, Jazwinski stepped out and obliged.
“With tears in both our eyes I got out and hugged that man,” Jazwinski remembers. “I’m talking about for a minute or two crying. Down to our knees crying. I needed that.”
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With the burden of military service pressing upon active duty members, veterans, and their families, Jazwinski wanted to remind everyone of the common bond they share.
“To all the family and friends of soldiers, fighting or done fighting, God bless you,” he wrote. “Your peace and your hearts. It’s so hard without them, I know. This road is a tremendous one. Love to all.”
Jazwinski’s post was shared several thousand times, no doubt reaching a military member or two that needed it. With support found between the two men in this story, a life of service hopefully can be made just a little bit easier.
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Source: William Jazwinski/Facebook