An Army vet’s kind gesture for a fallen fellow veteran on the side of a Missouri highway is warming hearts nationwide.
On Friday afternoon Kristen Collins was riding in the funeral procession of her 91-year-old grandfather, Navy veteran Fred Ladage, as it made its way to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis County.
There, along Interstate 70, she saw the driver of a semi had pulled onto the shoulder and was standing in front of the truck with his hand over his heart in a sign of respect.
“For that moment, everything about my grandfather about his legacy and life was important,” Collins, of St. Peters, Mo., told KSDK in St. Louis. “And people were stopping to honor that.”
She took a photo of the moment and posted it to her Facebook page, where it has attracted hundreds of responses.
“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,” she wrote.
“Thank you for showing such great honor — I found and got to personally thank this man!!”
She did, indeed, find the man — Army veteran Bradley Faulkner, who lives in O’Fallon, Mo., according to KSDK.
Within a few hours of posting the photo to Facebook, Faulkner’s wife heard about it, and Faulkner, who comes from a military family, was at Collins’ front door.
“It doesn’t change or alter your life at all to maybe lift up that one family and say, ‘Hey, in your time of need, I’m here for you whether I know you or not,’” Faulkner told the TV station.
His gesture went viral after Fox News spotlighted it on Monday.
Faulkner wrote on Collins’ Facebook page Monday morning that he was “humbled” by the attention.