Veteran devoted life to keeping military, families informed through his work

Courtesy: Ed Evans
Courtesy: Ed Evans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The nation will pause to honor men and women who serve and protect our country this Veterans Day.

Many of these heroes live here in Tennessee and Ed Evans is one of them.

Evans devoted his life to keeping the military and their families informed through his work.

Courtesy: Ed Evans
Courtesy: Ed Evans

“The finest of a young nation’s future met in a crunching, slashing, collision in the trenches,” Evans said as he read his poetry aloud.

Through words, photos and sounds, Evans documented triumphant and horrific images of war.

“This picture is my first tour in Vietnam when we were surrounded in Kaesong,” Evans explained as he held the photo that captured the moment.

Evans served as an oral history chief in the Vietnam War beginning in 1967. He led a team of Marines that archived pre-battle, battle and post-battle experiences.

“I have a book upstairs that shows within a certain date, 1,100 rounds of mortar and artillery fire fell on this location,” Evans said before taking News 2 to the upstairs area of his house, to show the excerpt from a book that archived battle from the Vietnam War.

Evans was holding the tape recorder that captured the sounds of warfare.

“That night, they counted how many rounds hit,” said Evans referring the relevance of his recording.

A person in his role typically averages about three tours of duty, but Evans participated in 15, each tour running on average of one year.

Courtesy: Ed Evans
Courtesy: Ed Evans

During that time, his wife, Merilyn, who he met in journalism school, stayed behind to raise their five children.

“He had dedicated his life to making the world aware of the sacrifices military people go through and I think that makes him a hero,” Merilyn, who also served as a military journalist, said.

“He cocked his bearded face slightly and looked at Frank across the ages with sad understanding eyes. How was bad was in?” he asked. “In Vietnam?” Evans said as he continued reading from a poem he wrote about his experiences in the war.

Evans has received numerous awards for his work as a journalist and for the time he served in the military and to this day he continues to write about his experiences.

He recently received a first place award from the Military Writers Association for his work.

Evans is also the proud grandfather of 11 grandchildren. These days, he also enjoys spending time writing sermons and has served as the pastor for three churches.