It does not take much to make a difference in someone else’s life. Sometimes a hug, a pat on the back, or a kind word is all that is needed to make another person feel truly special.
That was the kind of story that took social media by storm, last week.
Bradley Faulkner saw a funeral procession behind him while driving—and was inspired to show his respect.
On January 6, Bradley Faulkner was driving his semi-truck down Interstate 70 near St. Louis, Missouri, when he noticed a funeral procession behind him. Without batting an eyelid, he pulled over and got out of his truck.
He stood outside the cab, put his hand over his heart, and watched as the line of cars drove by.
What Faulkner did not know, however, was that the procession was for a 91-year-old World War 2 veteran, Fred Ladage. Ladage had served in both the Navy and Navy reserve during the war and was going to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery to be laid to rest with full military honors.
“For that moment, everything about my grandfather about his legacy and life was important,” Kristen Collins, Ladage’s granddaughter, told KSDK-TV. “And people were stopping to honor that.”
Faulkner’s gesture of respect made all the difference to Ladage’s family.
While in the funeral procession today to Jefferson barracks to lay my grandfather to rest a man driving a truck pulled…
Collins was so moved by Faulkner’s gesture that she posted a photo of Faulkner online, thanking him for what he did. It quickly went viral and a few hours later Faulkner’s wife saw the message and told her husband.
Faulkner, a nine-year veteran of the army, who served in Iraq as part of the military police, was deeply moved. After his wife told him about the message, he felt compelled to meet the Collinses in-person. So, several hours later, he made the drive to meet the grieving family at their home.
When Faulkner arrived, their exchange was heartwarming. Deeply grateful, Collins hugged Faulkner as he walked in the door and the two began talking about Ladage’s life.
“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.
The picture propelled Faulkner into internet fame; his incredible gesture resonated with everyone who saw it.
But Faulkner was just happy to have honored a fellow veteran and be there for the Collins family.
“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,’” Faulkner told KSDK.
“You never know someone’s situation,” he told ABC7 News. “It doesn’t hurt you to try to do what positive things you can.”
And at the end of the day, that simple message is what is so important.