Driver snaps photo of soldier saluting funeral procession in pouring rain

Act of love: Soldier in viral photo meets photographer

A Vine Grove woman's social media post is reaching viewers far beyond what she'd ever expected.

Erin Hester snapped this photo on July 6, while at an intersection on the Joe Prather Highway at 144, showing a uniformed soldier standing at attention outside his Jeep in the pouring rain. She watched as he saluted an oncoming funeral procession. He didn't return to his vehicle until the last car passed.

She later posted the photo to her Instagram and Facebook pages, gaining close to 130,000 shares and 184,000 likes in the last week.

MORE: Man belts out national anthem over intercom at Missouri Wal-Mart

Share this post with your family and friends on Facebook

"I never realized the amount of true power social media has until now," Hester told WHAS 11 News.

Included in the photo's caption, Hester wrote, "I always get frustrated when I see cars that don't pull to the side and stop for a procession, but this gentleman went above and beyond. I feel pretty confident that there isn't a military rule that soldiers have to do this. This made my heart happy to see the amount of respect that this gentleman showed a family that he doesn't even know. #values #respect."

Hester doesn't know who the soldier is and or whose funeral procession passed by, but the soldier's act of respect continues to create waves of emotion.

COL Jack L. Usrey
Senior Army Advisor, Tennessee Army National Guard

We were able to locate the soldier in Hester's photo. His name is Col Jack L. Usrey, Senior Army Advisor, Tennessee Army National Guard.  He responded to us and wanted us to put it out there that his home state raised him right.  "I also owe it to my parents, Jim and Judy Usrey, from Martin, TN.  They taught me to do this from when I have memory."

"I'm humbled and surprised at the reaction to such a simple gesture.  My first thoughts were about how the bad weather can't be helping how the family feels and I was hoping my small action would let them know we care."

© 2018 WHAS-TV


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment