SILVERHILL, Alabama — A local Purple Heart recipient has been chosen to be one of the nation’s 2021 Purple Heart Patriot Project honorees.
U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Edward “Ed” Evans (retired) of Silverhill, a Korean War veteran, will represent his fellow Purple Heart heroes as Alabama’s representative at a multi-day tribute to honor the courage and sacrifice of America’s combat wounded.
The Purple Heart Patriot Project is a program of the National Purple Heart Honor Mission. The all-expense paid trip includes visits to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, historic Washington’s Headquarters, a special tour of the newly renovation National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and other tributes to service.
“Ed and his fellow Patriot Project honorees are true American heroes,” said Rickie Lay, a Purple Heart recipient and chairman of the National Purple Heart Honor Mission. “America’s Purple Heart veterans have given so much to defend freedom and that sacrifice must always be remembered. We are privileged to be able to provide this unique salute to service for our Purple Heart heroes.”
Retired Col. Russ Vernon, executive director for the National Purple Heart Honor Mission said the Purple Heart Patriot Project is an opportunity to say thank you to Purple Heart recipients who have made enormous sacrifices for America.
“For some, this will be like the homecoming they never had,” Vernon said. “We received hundreds of nominations from across the country and we look forward to honoring Ed for his lifelong sacrifice and service to his community.”
When asked what his service meant to him, Evans said, “Service is about a commitment to one’s country. It was an honor to serve my country during times of war and peace.”
A 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Evans enlisted in September 1948. His career took him across the country and around the world.
Evans earned his Purple Heart during his tour of duty in Korea in September 1950, when then Sgt. Evans was acting as a forward observer with G-Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. Evans and his unit came under mortar fire. When the shelling stopped the men started advancing. When a new round of shelling started, a mortar landed right behind him in his foxhole. Evans was evacuated to a Tokyo, Japan, hospital.
In addition to his Purple Heart, Evans received numerous commendations and awards, including the Bronze Star with valor, Army Commendation Medal and more.
After retiring from the Army, Evans started his own swimming pool business. For 23 years, prior to the death of his wife, he also served with U.S. Missions, Assembly of God, as a U.S. church builder. Evans and his late wife, Mildred, have three children. He was nominated to take part in the mission by his daughters, Karla Dauzat and Marcia Evans.
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located just north of West Point, New York, at the site where Gen. George Washington first awarded the Medal of Military Merit in 1782 during the Revolutionary War. The badge, shaped like a purple heart, was the forerunner of today’s medal.
In addition to creation of the museum, supporters of the National Purple Heart Honor Mission were instrumental in the creation of the Purple Heart Forever stamp now issued by the U.S. Postal Service, and are leading the effort in Congress to pass the National Purple Heart Commemorative Coin Act.
Those wishing to learn more about the National Purple Heart Honor Mission or donate to support the Purple Heart Patriot Project should visit PurpleHeartMission.org.
About the National Purple Heart Honor Mission
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Inc., dba the National Purple Heart Honor Mission, is an approved 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) non-profit organization which supports a variety of programs to promote the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, pay tribute to our Purple Heart recipients, and educate all Americans about our combat-wounded veterans to ensure those who sacrificed for freedom are never forgotten. Learn more and support their efforts at PurpleHeartMission.org.