A photo of a Tennessee Army National Guard soldier standing in the rain to salute a funeral procession has gone viral.
Col. Jack Usrey got out of his car on July 6 to pay his respects, saluting the passing procession on a rainy afternoon as he drove from Fort Knox, Kentucky. The post had been shared on Facebook more than 130,000 times as of Tuesday, garnering more than 195,000 likes.
Usrey is the senior Army adviser to the adjutant general at Tennessee National Guard Headquarters in Nashville, according to the Army.
“I was so completely touched by this today,” wrote Erin Hester of Kentucky in her July 6 Facebook post of the photo. “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.”
A mutual friend of Hester’s who was working at Fort Knox as a contractor was able to identify Usrey, eventually leading to the two meeting in person and sharing a hug. Their reunion was broadcast on ABC News.
“It's baffling to me that something so simple caused so much attention,” Usrey said,according to the Army. “I guess it goes to show how simple it would be for our nation to be more united if we just treated each other using the Golden Rule."
Usrey joined the Tennessee National Guard in 1988. He has served in multiple roles, from tank platoon leader to executive officer to the assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, according to the Army. He has deployed multiple times, including in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.
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