NASHVILLE – The viral photo of a soldier saluting a funeral procession while standing in the rain has been identified. Colonel Jack L. Usrey is the senior Army advisor to the adjutant general at Tennessee National Guard Headquarters in Nashville. While driving from Ft. Knox, Kentucky last week, Col. Usrey met a funeral procession, stopped, got out of his vehicle and paid his respects to the deceased.
“I didn’t really think,” said Usrey. “I just did what my parents taught me to do growing up.”
“I stopped, got out, saluted the police escort and held my salute as the hearse and family passed by, then went on my way and didn’t give it a second thought.”
The photo, that has since gone viral, was taken and shared on Facebook and Instagram by Erin Hester of Vine Grove, Kentucky on Thursday, July 6. Since that time, the photo has garnered more than 187,000 “likes”, been shared nearly 130,000 times and generated more than 8,600 comments.
In her Facebook post, Ms. Hester said, “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 gentleman 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.”