When I was younger, my parents taught me to treat other people with respect.
They taught me how important it is to treat people with respect, so I grew up with the same sense of purpose.
So, when I saw a picture of one U.S. soldier standing at attention in the pouring rain, it moved me. The person who took the picture knew they had to show it to everyone, and I’m glad they did.
People rushed to pay tribute to the soldier after the picture went viral, which is unsurprising.
But what he said after he was found out really showed what kind of person he was…
On July 6, 2017, it was. Erin Hester was sitting on a highway in Vine Grove, Kentucky, where two roads met.
In the pouring rain, she saw a soldier standing at attention. She looked at him for a while before realizing that a funeral procession was going by. He was saluting this, even though he wasn’t in the procession or knew the person who had died.
Hester knew she had to take a picture to remember the moment. The picture of her was put on social media, where it got a lot of good feedback.
Hester wrote on Facebook, “Today, I was deeply moved by this. This soldier got out of his jeep and stood at attention as a funeral procession went by in the pouring rain. I’m annoyed when cars don’t pull to the side and stop for a parade. But this man went above and beyond.
“I’m pretty sure that this isn’t something that soldiers have to do because of a military rule. Seeing how much respect this man showed to a family he didn’t even know made my heart happy. #values #respect.”
After her post went viral, WHASII found the soldier who had done the kind thing. Col. Jack L. Usrey, who is the Senior Army Advisor for the Tennessee Army National Guard, was named as who he was.
He refused to accept the praise and said, “I also owe it to my parents, Jim and Judy Usrey, from Martin, Tennessee. Since I can remember, they have taught me to do this.
“I’m shocked and humbled by the response to such a small act. My first thought was that the bad weather couldn’t be making the family feel better, and I wanted to do something small to show them we cared.”