Soldier salutes funeral procession in pouring rain

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Soldier salutes funeral procession in pouring rain (Erin Hester)

A photo of a soldier standing in the pouring rain to salute a passing funeral procession is going viral - even reaching the soldier himself.

Erin Hester of Vine Grove, Kentucky, shared the moving photo on Facebook and Instagram last week.

"I was so completely touched by this today. A funeral procession was passing by and this soldier got out of his jeep to stand at attention in the pouring rain. I always get frustrated when I see cars that don't pull to the side and stop for a procession, but this gentlemen 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," she wrote.

Since July 6, the post has been shared more than 123,000 times on Facebook and has received more than 177,000 likes.

That soldier was also on Facebook and noticed a photo of what looked like him.

"I was just a little taken back, a little surprised, and kind of wondering how it happened," U.S. Army Col Jack Usrey said.

Col. Usery, who did tours in Afghanistan, didn't know anyone in that funeral procession, so why did he get out of his car?

"Family hurting, bad day, rain makes it worse, maybe I can help. And I just did it," he said.

Having shared that special moment, and all that attention afterwards, Hester and Col. Usery decided to meet up.

Col. Usrey said he knows people will remember the photo, but he hopes they never forget the lesson.

"I think the single simple message I'd ask folks to think about is every single day we're all given opportunities if we just slow down, and just help somebody," he said.
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