Concerned Family Call Police on Elderly Man Who Wants to Drive Across America – The Cop Who Arrives Has Different Plans
When told in an interview that a cop can only be expected to do so much Sergeant Turney responded, “Yeah. But as a person, you’ve got to step it up.”
Sergeant Jeff Turney hadn’t planned to use his vacation time driving an elderly stranger across the country, but that’s exactly what he did.
A Determined Old Man
94-year-old Howard Benson was intent on driving himself from Arizona, where he lived, to Florida, where he could be closer to his family.
Benson’s own children could not talk him out of it, so hoping someone would show up at the door and talk some sense into their father, they called the cops.
Sergeant Turney was the man who responded to the dispatch, and when he walked in to Benson’s home, all he saw was an old man sitting and waiting.
“When I arrived, Howard was sitting there with his WWII hat. He was extremely proud of his service,” explains Sergeant Turney to ABC.
Despite all his pleading and prying, Sergeant Turney could not convince a stubborn Benson that driving cross-country was a bad idea.
The act wasn’t even feasible, as Benson was wheel-chair bound and couldn’t drive. Sergeant Turney knew he couldn’t just leave Benson, who wanted to take the journey from Glendale, Arizona where he lived to his new nursing facility in Florida.
Sergeant Turney Joins In on Howard’s Dream
So Sergeant Turney gave in and helped Benson load a towed trailer. When Benson asked the officer to help him with his last take of finding a driver who could escort him, Sergeant Turney took the opportunity laid out before him.
“I thought about it for a second and 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 he said – ‘You?!’” Sergeant Turney recalled.
For three days, Benson and Sergeant Turney drove across the country and talked, covering everything from Benson’s years in the Navy during World War II to his anxiety about moving into his new nursing home.
That’s when Benson opened up and admitted to Sergeant Turney why it was so important he take the trip by road tripping.
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Benson said that this was possibly the last journey he would ever make. He wanted to do it via driving so he could see America for one last time.
“I’ve never seen a person so dedicated to helping people in my life,” Benson said. “I can’t thank that gentleman enough.”
After the road trip, Benson passed away peacefully.
“He got to see his United States one more time. He got one more birthday and one more Veteran’s Day. But sadly, Howard Benson passed away yesterday,” the Glendale Police Station tweeted.
An Unforgettable Trip
Sergeant Turney helped an old veteran achieve his final dream: driving through his country one last time before he passed away. Benson was able to die fulfilled and close to his family, and Sergeant Turney will remember their time together always.