Sergeant Jeff Turney hadn’t planned on spending his vacation driving an elderly stranger across the country, but he did.
A determined old man
Howard Benson, 94, was dying to travel from Arizona, where he lived, to Florida, where he could be closer to his family.
Benson’s own children couldn’t talk him out of it, so they called the police in the hope that someone would show up at the door and talk sense into their father.
Sergeant Turney was the man who responded to the report, and when he entered Benson’s house all he saw was an old man sitting and waiting.
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“When I arrived, Howard was sitting there with his WWII hat on. He was very proud of his service,” Sergeant Turney told ABC.
For all his pleas and curiosity, Sergeant Turney couldn’t convince a stubborn Benson that going cross-country was a bad idea.
The act was not even feasible as Benson was confined to a wheelchair and unable to drive. Sergeant Turney knew he couldn’t just leave Benson, who was making the journey from where he lived in Glendale, Arizona, to his new nursing facility in Florida.
Sergeant Turney joins Howard’s dream
So Sergeant Turney relented and helped Benson load a towed trailer. When Benson asked the officer to help him in his last attempt to find a driver to accompany him, Sergeant Turney took the opportunity offered to him.
“I thought about it for a second and I knew he was going to go anyway. I had the next three days off and I just asked him, ‘How about I take you?’ He had a big smile on his face and said, ‘You?!’” recalled Sergeant Turney.
For three days, Benson and Sergeant Turney drove across the country, chatting about everything from Benson’s years in the Navy during World War II to his fears of moving into his new nursing home.
At that moment, Benson opened the door and admitted to Sergeant Turney why it was so important that he make the journey by road.
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Benson said that this might be the last trip he would ever take. He wanted to do it by driving so he could see America one last time.
“I’ve never seen a person in my life be so committed to helping people,” Benson said. “I cannot thank this gentleman enough.”
After the road trip, Benson passed away peacefully.
“He saw his United States again. He has one more birthday and one more Veterans Day. But sadly Howard Benson passed away yesterday,” Glendale Police Station tweeted.
An unforgettable journey
Sergeant Turney helped an old veteran realize his last dream: drive across his country one last time before he died. Benson was able to die fulfilled and close to his family, and Sergeant Turney will always remember their time together.
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https://www.goalcast.com/cop-takes-94-year-old-veteran-on-road-trip-to-see-america/ Cop takes 94-year veteran on road trip to see America one last time