Retiring police officer gets surprise send-off from son on last day

Southbridge, Massachusetts, police officer Duane Ledoux has counted down the days to retirement. After 31 years on the force, he suspected his colleagues prepared something special for him. But he never expected what came across the radio after he signed off for the last time.

It took more than a few seconds before he caught the voice: his youngest son, Nathan. 

"I realized when Nathan said, 'chasing glory' and then, 'Dad,' it gave it away, more or less," Ledoux said. "I had a feeling, but I just didn't expect him, and what he said, and how well he said it, which was just phenomenal, and I can't get it out of my head now."

To understand the bond between this father and son, you have to go back.

"I had two sons, and 15 years ago, I lost one of them in a car accident along with his mother and grandmother, and he's a gift. So it made the emotions that much more — just to have him there at that moment," Ledoux said.

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Duane Ledoux, left, and his son Nathan

Southbridge Police Department/Facebook

Even after such loss, to have his son beside him on this day — with his colleagues after so many years of service, in a field often rife with danger — is a prayer answered.

"When I pulled in the yard, I don't think I could get out of the car, couldn't get out of the cruiser fast enough just to see him and grab him and hold him and know that everything's alright. It was a lot but it was good, it was real good," Ledoux said.

Code 5 in police lingo means they've wrapped the scene, but officer and son have a code set for adventure.

"I think chasing glory in the end is Nathan. I think I'm going to end up chasing Nathan around the country. When he said chasing glory, I thought, I think that means him," Ledoux said.