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Glendale sergeant helps WWII vet travel across the country

Posted at 6:00 PM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-02 01:50:37-04

It started off as a typical welfare check for Glendale Police Sgt. Jeff Turney.

But that one call would lead this nearly 20-year veteran of the force on a journey that was nothing short of life-changing.

"When I arrived, Howard was sitting there with his WWII hat. He was extremely proud of his service," explains Sgt. Turney.

He's talking about 94-year-old Howard Benson, a Glendale resident who wanted to drive himself to Florida, all by himself, to be closer to family. His family called Glendale Police Department, asking them to persuade Howard from going alone.

But this WWII veteran was determined to go on one final mission.

"I kinda figured right then and there we wouldn't stop him from going across the country," explains Sgt. Turney.

"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?!'"

With his own time and his own money, Sgt. Turney, who is also a veteran, drove all the way to Florida with his new co-pilot, Howard.

"For the next three days, we went through 94 years of history of Howard Benson and he told me everything about his life. He had told me that was his last trip that he'd be able to make and he had just wanted to see America one last time and he didn't know how he was going to do it but he was going to do it. I just told him, 'I'm glad I'm there with you to make sure you get there safe and we'll do whatever it takes to make sure you see the country.'"

A journey thousands of miles and a lifetime in the making. And Sgt. Jeff Turney, that is why you are one of Nick's Heroes.

All around us in the Valley, people go above and beyond to help make our community even better. We want to know who they are! Nominate someone today and tell us why they should be one of Nick's Heroes. They could win a $500 gift card from our friends at your Valley Toyota Dealers.

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