Fifty years ago, July 18, 1969, U.S. Army Sgt. Rodney Evans was a squad leader when he led his unit on a sweep down a trail in the Tay Ninh province in Vietnam that was booby-trapped.
It was one day after Evans turned 21.
The Florala native would jump on a live mine, which killed him but saved the men in his platoon.
Two years later, Evans was posthumously awarded the medal of honor by President Richard Nixon in a White House ceremony.
Several of the men who he saved five decades ago will be in Evans’ hometown where a ceremony will take place at the Civic Center that bears Evans’ name.
“Now we have his closest, dearest friends he served with, and tonight, now we get to meet each other,” organizer Kim Williamson said. “It’s just phenomenal when you even say that out loud. I think we’re very blessed to have this opportunity.”
According to AL.com, Evans’ Medal of Honor is the only one known to belong to a Wiregrass resident.