A photo of a truck driver who pulled over to stand for a funeral procession for a fellow veteran is going viral.
Facebook user Kristen Collins uploaded the stirring image over the weekend. She’s the granddaughter of Fred Ladage, who recently passed away at 91. He served in the Navy and Navy Reserve during World War II.
When the family went to transport Ladage to his final resting place in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery near St. Louis, they encountered Bradley Faulkner on Interstate 70. Faulkner — a truck driver and nine-year veteran who served in Iraq — had stopped his truck, stepped out, and put his hand over his heart as their procession passed, according to WMAZ. A member of a military family with a grandfather who also served, Faulkner considered it important to stop and stand.
Kristen Collins was moved — she took the picture and posted it to Facebook. She wasn’t ready for what happened next, though.
The photo made the rounds on the internet, and made its way to Faulkner’s wife. They arranged to meet, and Faulkner drove from his home in Missouri to meet Kristen Collins.
“It’s just such an honor to be able to meet the person that made such an impact on us for a moment in time,” Collins said of their meeting.
Faulkner, meanwhile, says the choice to stop that day was an easy one:
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.’