Very few of us can associate with the life of a soldier serving overseas. Thats why so many heroes come back to the United States have to seek help in addressing their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
This can be challenging for so many proud soldiers. William Jazwinski, a former Heavy Wheeled Vehicle Operator for the United States Army, knew in order to overcome the painful memories of his 15-month tour in Iraq he required treatment.
What William didn’t realise is that the flag which he kept in the back of the truck to remind himself of his service would actually make him a target for law enforcement …
William was a model soldier who served his country proudly and efficiently. There was very little that could put him off his sense of duty; not even long nights in the hot Iraqi desert or the gruelling training he had to undergo before he was deemed fit to serve in the first place.
William’s sought treatment for PTSD when he returned home as his time overseas in the US Army was rough. Of course, he still drive around with a properly folded American flag in his truck.
While William was out driving one day he was spotted and flagged down by a local police officer. He was a little confused by the situation as he wasn’t speeding, his registration was compliant and he didn’t have any outstanding legal issues, but he pulled over and followed the officer’s instructions.
William took out his license and registration, ready for inspection … only, it seemed it wasn’t what the officer was interested in.
William decided to share their exchange in a Facebook post that’s since gone viral:
“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. Your welcome, Sir. My pleasure.
Officer: Where did you serve?
Me: I went to Iraq. Did a 15 month [stint]. Out of Fort 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?
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. 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.”
As it transpires the officer simply wanted to honor his son’s memory and show support for the troops with a hug. William gave him some sort of peace, and restored his faith in strangers.
Once William got home, he took a picture of the flag and shared it online. He never realised that his post would gather such viral attention. Since he shared the story to his Facebook page, it has been shared more than 170,00 times and liked by more than 200,000 people.
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