Kenneth Varnes, a construction engineering soldier assigned to Fort Hood, noticed a funeral procession approaching him as he drove along Highway 195 in Kileen, Texas. Recognizing the flags on the vehicles’ windows as a sign of a veteran’s funeral, Varnes exited his vehicle in the pouring rain and stood at attention, saluting the fallen veteran and the family members in the procession.
Someone snapped a photo of the soldier standing in the rain to honor a fellow veteran and posted it to Facebook. He asked if anyone recognized the soldier and to let him know who it was so that he could tag him in the picture.
Not long after the post, Varnes began receiving messages on social media alerting him to the photo.
He told a reporter: “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."
He said that after recognizing it as a veteran’s funeral procession, he did not think twice about his next move. Without even knowing whose funeral was driving by, Varnes honored his fellow vet.
“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. It’s a brotherhood.”