A teenager bound to a wheelchair hoisted himself up to pay homage to the American flag while watching a homecoming parade in Florida.
Arek Trenholm used his arms to rise out of the wheelchair as the junior ROTC walked by waving red, white, and blue flags, WABC reported.
Trenholm, 16, was born with spina bifida, which impairs the development of the spinal cord. He has been wheelchair-bound for the past ten years of his life.
He happened to be watching the parade in front of his uncle’s photography studio in Leesburg, where his uncle captured the moment on camera and shared it on Facebook:
“My sister just called out, ‘He’s standing!’ And instantly, I knew what he was doing,” his uncle Myron Leggett said.
Leggett received many comments on Facebook applauding Arek for his display of respect.
“He didn’t have to do that. He has an excuse to stay seated,” said Leggett. “Nobody told him, nobody encouraged him and he did it on his own. I admire him for that and I’m very proud of him.”
Arek’s mom said he has been standing for flags, pledges, and national anthems since he was very young. She said he picks out leg braces with the American flag on it and now has ten pairs.