'They protect us, Daddy': Photo of 6-year-old saluting sailors goes viral

A photo of a Texas boy paying respect to sailors with a salute at the San Antonio International Airport has gone viral. 

Priscilla Pinales-Vega tells FOX 35 that she and her son, Jace, were picking up her husband from the airport after a trip to Colorado Springs. While there, a group of sailors in uniform walked by. 

To his parents' surprise, Jace stood at attention and saluted the men and women.

Pinales-Vega says that when his father asked Jace why he did that, the boy replied, "Because they protect us, Daddy."

"I was one proud momma when I heard those words come out of his mouth," the mother said.

Pinales-Vega tells FOX 35 that they are a patriotic family and have always talked to Jace about respecting the men and women who serve the country. But the salute is something he did all on his own.

"It’s the simple things like this that make me very proud as a father," Joe Vega wrote on Facebook. "To know that WE are teaching our children that the least they can do is show respect to the brave young men and women that serve our great nation."