By: Jane Evans, Community Contributor
On this day, as almost everyday, I remember with pride my American Hero, Rivers Buford Evans, Jr.
I remember the grief, but also the pride when the shots were fired and the bugler played taps, when they folding the flag on his coffin and handed it to his mother - after all she is the one that was there when he left for the missions and she is the one that lay awake at night praying for his safe return.
So more so than I, she had the right to receive the honor of his flag.
He served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army, an Army Ranger with the L.R.R. P unit. MACV Recondo Special Forces...1966. I don’t remember how may tours, I think four in Vietnam.
He was awarded a Purple heart, Bronze Star and other medals.
He retired from the army in the 80’s and we married after he retired. While he and other brave men like him were fighting, and many losing their lives, I was oblivious to the war.
Yes, I knew we were fighting in Vietnam, but I went about my life not thinking about the sacrifices he and the others were making for us.
I had a roof over my head and food to eat. While they were in jungles - helicopters had bullets and bombs all around them.
As I sit here this morning the extent of my ignorance is overwhelming. Also, the shame I am feeling for the Americans that were protesting the war. We had brave men and women putting their lives on the line every moment of the day while we were home, and I know I was drinking Dr Peppers and going about my days without a thought to them not even having fresh water and food, and wondering at night if they would see the sunrise.
I am so sorry I learned so late that freedom is not free. I know I could have done more, so now when I think about the effect wars have on our soldiers.
I pray that we can do more. I want more for the brave men and women coming home for the middle eastern wars, and I want more for the family's that are waiting for them to return. I want more done for their injuries and their emotional health. I want more for them.
I never want another American Soldier to experience the hate, disrespect and ridicule our Vietnam Vets did when they finally, after a long horrible war, set foot on American soil.
WE may not and do not have to agree with why they have been sent to fight in a foreign land, but above all we do have to support them and realize that without them we would be living under dictatorships in a totally different America.
So on this Memorial I salute our American Armed Forces and give the success of our great Country (and it is getting great again) to God and the men and women that stand guard and protect this nation... and as for me, I will never forget them and the gratitude I have for all the things that my husband taught me.
So talk to a vet, more so listen to him, and even more listen to the silence and what they do not say. Stand up for them, ease the suffering that so many are going through, and remember that they did it for you.
GOD BLESS OUR VETERANS AND GOD BLESS AMERICA ... An Army Veterans Widow... I am so proud of the man that was and is truly my American Hero.....On this Memorial Day.. and every day I give thanks.