ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A touching photo spreading on social media shows a U.S. Army veteran holding his hand over his heart as a procession for a fellow veteran passes by.
The man, identified as nine-year Army veteran Bradley Faulkner, pulled his semi-truck over on Interstate 70 and gave the patriotic salute.
Kristen Collins, granddaughter of deceased World War II veteran Fred Ladage, snapped the photo on Friday and posted it on Facebook.
The post reads, “While in the funeral procession today to Jefferson Barracks to lay my grandfather to rest a man driving a truck pulled off and made honor as we all proceeded. Thank you for showing such great honor – I found and got to personally thank this man!!”
Faulkner tells FOX 2 that he saw the funeral procession, got out of his truck, and placed his hand over his heart. He wasn’t looking for recognition and didn’t know the procession was heading to Jefferson Barracks or that the deceased was a World War II veteran. Faulkner just wanted to do the right thing.
“I did it because everyone in that funeral procession was hurting. Me standing by the side of the road lifted up at least one of them,” said Bradley Faulkner.
He now knows that is true because of a chance meeting. Collins didn’t know Faulkner before the viral image was posted to Facebook. She discovered the two have a mutual friend, Faulkner’s wife. They arranged a meeting to thank the kind stranger.
“She just wanted to say, ‘Thank you.’ I said there was no need for it,” said Faulkner.
This isn’t the first time Faulkner has done this for a funeral procession. He says that it is something he learned from his father and that more people should do.
“I place my heart on my chest to say, ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’ Stop for two seconds out of your busy day and say thank you,” said Faulkner.
Faulkner is also a veteran and says he also deals with PTSD. He is inspired by the words at the end of Ellen DeGenere’s show. She tells her audience to be kind to each other. He is just focusing on the positive things in life.
The story has gone viral. It has appeared on cable news and local TV stations across the United States. Faulkner and Collins are sharing the stories posted online with each other now. They’re happy to see the nation captivated by a kind act.
They are trying to keep up with all of the comments but the story is too big right now. But, there is one thread Faulkner wants to address. Some commenters are asking if e is worried about getting a traffic ticket.
“I’m not going to change who I am. I’m going to do the right thing,” said Faulkner.