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Idaho farmer called a 'role model' for pausing work to stand at attention during national anthem

Posted at 7:58 AM, Sep 21, 2018

CALDWELL, Idaho — Brent Mai didn't think anything of it.

While out in his field on Sept. 11, the farmer got out of his tractor to inspect his vehicle. Next door, the Vallivue High School girls soccer team stood at attention.

Although he couldn't hear the national anthem, he realized what was happening. He put his hand over his heart while "The Star-Spangled Banner" played.

"It gives me chills just thinking about it still,"  Vallivue soccer player Renae Sanchez said. "It was such a simple gesture, but it meant so much and touched so many people out there."

Photographer Wendy Boyer captured the moment. After sharing it online, the photo spread like wildfire— something that came as a surprise to everybody, including Mai.

"It has been a little overwhelming I didn't expect anybody to take a picture for one," Mai said. "All of a sudden, I'm getting messages from people all over the country and veterans thanking me for standing for the flag."

Sometimes, the simplest gestures can have the biggest impact. and the girls on the soccer team say they will never forget the moment they shared with the farmer.

"It was really cool to figure out how similar he is to us,"  Sanchez said. "He's a role model for me because he did that."

It made the team want to do something in return. The team will give Mai a Vallivue shirt and a framed photo before they play their final home game on Oct. 2.

"I will never forget Brent the farmer," Gonzalez said.