Photo Of Off-Duty Soldier Saluting In The Rain Is Going Viral, Here’s The Story Behind It

Updated April 6, 2017

 

Unlike President Obama, who was caught ‘saluting’ members of the United States military with a Starbucks coffee in his hand or not saluting them at all, most proud Americans do not hesitate to show respect to the men and women who serve our country.

Recently, an active duty soldier, currently stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, pulled over his truck, exited the vehicle, and saluted as a fallen soldier’s funeral procession passed. Because someone snapped a photo of the man’s commitment to morality and respect, it has become an internet sensation. Why? Because it was pouring outside when he decided to follow through with his salute…

After the photo went viral, Kenneth Varnes was tracked down. He said he was on Highway 195 in Killeen, Texas when he saw a funeral procession passing by. At first he thought nothing of it, then he realized it was for a fallen hero.

As soon as Varnes realized the people were celebrating the life of a fallen veteran, he pulled over his truck and got out so he could salute the hero – Varnes could have cared less that he was getting soaked in the pouring rain.

Varnes was proud to salute the veteran.

“I don’t care if they were 80 years old, they were in World War II, they were in Vietnam, they were in Iraq, I don’t care if they were 20,” Varnes told Inside Edition. “It’s a brotherhood.”

Varnes added that he believed God assisted him that day. While the sky was pouring rain when he first got out of his truck – as he raised his hand in a salute, the rain let up. Then when he got back in his car, God let it pour again.

“As soon as I got back in the truck, it poured again, which was really cool,” the soldier said.
Because Varnes realizes that the majority of Americans are proud of the veterans – except some Drexel University professors – he knows the image will make a lot of people happy.

“This is probably going to make someone’s day, seeing me stand here, and I know how it is to go through a tough time like that, and I really just did it just to make someone’s day, that was it,” Varnes told KWTX.

But he was wrong. Varnes made thousands of people happy that day as they kept sharing and sharing the image with their loved ones on Facebook.

American Military News reported that Zachary Rummings was the patriot who snapped the photo. He initially took the picture and shared it because he wanted to ask his friends and follows if they knew who the soldier saluting was.

Locals quickly identified Varnes who is a fixture in the community.

Here’s what viewers on YouTube had to say:

“Very touching…..great job soldier,” wrote Todd Hedman.

“Once a soldier, always a soldier,” Valeria Glasgow wrote.

Raymond Jones wrote, “That is AWESOME. RESPECT is NOT lost in the world.”

What do you think about this respectful soldier?

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