In today’s world, we may not necessarily expect people to go out of their way to consider others, especially if they’re strangers. But when you see what this man did, you may start to have a higher opinion of what people we don’t know are capable of.
Kristen Collins was on the road with her family on the way to her grandfather’s funeral. Her late grandfather, Fred Ladage, had served in the Navy and the Navy Reserves and returned from WWII, married his wife of now 61 years, and lived long enough to have a great life with his children, grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.
The family were on their way to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis when Kristen noticed a head-turning sight. A truck driver had gotten out of his truck and was standing beside it on the busy highway.
It was 12 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. -11 degrees Celsius) out, and she couldn’t figure out why this man was standing in the bitter cold right by the noisy traffic.
She wondered what he was doing, but she didn’t have to wonder for long. As the vehicle carrying Fred Ladage drove by, the trucker respectfully saluted and stood there with his hand over his heart as the entire procession went past.
Kristen said that the entire incident was a “tearjerker,” and when she spoke to family members after the funeral, they said that they too had noticed what he did. The fact that this truck driver had taken the time to make this gesture meant more to them than they could say.
Kristen was able to track down the man, named Bradley Faulkner. As it turned out, he had served nine years in the army, and had served in Iraq.
Bradley had simply wanted to show respect and honor to this unknown military man. He did that, and in doing so, has inspired all those who’ve had a chance to learn about this story.
Being kind and showing respect to others can go a long way. Even if you don’t know someone, you can still do something that might mean more to them than you’d realize—just like what Bradley did for Fred Ladage and his family that day.