As Kenneth Varnes stood on the side of a Texas highway in the pouring rain, saluting an American-flag-draped funeral procession for a fallen veteran, he thought someone might see him and feel a small ray of light on an otherwise gloomy day. "I know how it is to go through a tough time like that," the Fort Hood soldier tells KWTX. "I really just did it just to make someone's day." But his simple act has resonated with many after a local resident snapped a photo of him saluting outside his truck in Killeen on March 24, with only a cowboy hat protecting him from the rain.
Zachary Rummings posted the photo to a local Facebook group in the hope that someone would recognize the young man, reports CBS News. Plenty did, and soon after, Varnes says he was flooded with social media notifications as the photo went viral. But he says the fact that he was recognized for something he didn't think twice about isn't the best part of the story. Rather, Varnes says the rain slowed to a "drizzle" seconds after he stepped out of his truck to pay his respects to the unknown veteran. "As soon as I got back in the truck, it poured again, which was really cool," he says.