1010 WINS-When U.S. Army veteran Bradley Faulkner noticed a funeral procession making its way down I-70, the trucker pulled his rig to the shoulder, got out, and stood in salute as the vehicles passed.
The patriotic overture went viral over the weekend, which allowed the granddaughter of the man who was being laid to rest a chance to actually meet and thank the driver.
Fred Ladage, who served in in WWII in the Navy and Navy Reserves, passed away at 91 and was laid to rest at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Louis County, Missouri.
The deceased veteran’s granddaughter, Kristen Collins, and her husband were able to take a quick photo of Faulkner and Kristen posted it along with some words of gratitude on Facebook saying, “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. Thank you for showing such great honor – I found and got to personally thank this man!!”
Collins later connected with Faulkner, who served in Iraq, after his wife came across the photo on social media.
“I only know him personally now because of my post,” Collins tells 1010 WINS. “His wife saw it and they reached out to me! Our local St. Louis news station came over and filmed us meeting!
“As I drive my truck for a living, I pull my truck over for every single funeral procession that I see,” Faulkner told 1010 WINS, “as a sign of respect.”
“I decided to pull over when I noticed the Patriot Guard Riders gathering at the side of the Interstate. Usually when they are involved, it means that we lost one. When I saw the hearse passing I stood at attention, gave a salute and stayed that way until the family passed.”
When eventually he heard it “was one of the last WWII veterans,” it meant that much more to him.
As Kristen’s photo makes its way through the Internet her hope is that people will take away from this post how precious life is and how “respect, honor and kindness goes a long way. An act of kindness can mean the world to someone else when it’s so simple to you!”