A solemn photo of a U.S. soldier standing at attention in the pouring rain quickly went viral after being shared on social media. But, it’s what the soldier said after being identified that has deepened everyone’s respect for him ever more.
On July 6, Erin Hester was at an intersection on a highway in Vine Grove, Kentucky, when she noticed a uniformed soldier standing at attention outside his jeep. She was wondering why the soldier was standing in the pouring rain, until she saw him saluting as a funeral procession passed by.
Hester snapped a photo of the moving scene and posted it on social media, with a lot of people praising the soldier.
“This gentlemen went above and beyond. I feel pretty confident that there isn’t a military rule that soldiers have to do this,” she wrote on her Facebook.
“This made my heart happy to see the amount of respect that this gentleman showed a family that he doesn’t even know,” she added.
After her post went viral, the WHAS11 located the soldier, who was identified as Col Jack L. Usrey, Senior Army Advisor, Tennessee Army National Guard.
The soldier said that his home state raised him right, adding: “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,” he said.