Zachary Rummings knew what it meant to serve and sacrifice for his country, and when it was time to attend the funeral of a man he had served with, he knew in his heart that it was an honor to attend. It was a hard thing to go through, but in an instant, he felt his spirit uplifted when he spotted a stranger standing in the rain.
As a combat veteran, one of the most difficult, yet honoring things to attend is a funeral service for a fellow brother or sister in arms that you had the pleasure of serving with. That was the situation I found myself in on March 24th. I was riding in the funeral procession for CSM (Ret) Elijah King and by the time the procession reached HWY 195, it was raining pretty hard and there was no sign of letting up. In the distance I noticed a truck pulled off to the side of the road with its door open. As my car got closer, I noticed a young man standing in the rain at attention saluting as each and every car passed by him. Seeing this restored my faith in humanity. I learned that this young man was a local Fort Hood Soldier named Kenneth Varnes. My eyes began to swell with tears and my heart grew with pride. Not only was he representing Fort Hood in such a positive manner, but I felt that this young man displays all of the Army Values that were taught to each and every Soldier — past, present and future — and he should be a model for what we expect from each and every one of our Soldiers.”
Respecting others is an important part of being human, but this young man went farther than others. Alone, cold, and getting wet from the dismal weather, he knew that it was his duty to honor the military member that was passing by in the procession. His perfect salute is an inspiring sight, and thousands agree that this man deserves every ounce of respect for his actions.
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