Wednesday, November 10, 2010

War Story Wednesday -The Vietnam Vet

Welcome to another edition of War Story Wednesday, where I share a "war story" about the job. I served with the Suffolk County Police Department from 1986 - 2007. If you have a war story to share, I'd love to hear it; either write it in the comments below, or provide a link so that we can read about it on your blog should you write your own post.

Considering tomorrow is Veteran's Day, I'd like to share a story I heard from a retired Suffolk County Police Officer about one of our co-workers, a Vietnam vet, who has since passed away (I'll name him Jim Johnson for this story).

Jim was a colorful character who occasionally had his gun taken away for psych reasons, or for arguing with his ex-wife, and got placed on the desk in the precinct.

When he was out on the road, however, he issued a summons to a driver who had presented a paper license, as drivers did in the 1970s -- no photo licenses in NY at the time. Several weeks later, Officer Johnson responded to TVB (Traffic Violations Bureau) because the "driver" was fighting the ticket. Turns out, the "driver" explained, he didn't receive the summons, his brother did -- because the brother used his license when the cop wrote the summons.

The hearing officer asked Officer Johnson, "Do you think you might have written a summons to the wrong person?"

Officer Johnson responded, "Your honor, I fought in the wrong war, I married the wrong woman....Could I have written the wrong person? Hell, yes!"


  1. Kathleen - What a terrific story! "Jim Johnson" said so much with so few words, too. I respect that! It certainly was easier to use someone else's license during those days...

  2. Jim sounds like he was a very colorful person.

    Thoughts in Progress

  3. Hi Charles,
    I have been laughing since I heard my friend tell me that story in '09.

    Hi Margot,
    Thanks...He was a quick thinker. I have SO many "Jim Johnson" stories; I've included them in my true crime memoir when I write about being a female in law enforcement in the '80s, and the things he said and did were wild.

    Hi Mason,
    Oh ~ he certainly was colorful! He was funny as hell; a bit crude (OK, a lot crude). The poor guy was missing several parts of his fingers, too.