Memorial Day Memories: Family of local man with 3 Bronze Stars enjoys event

Published 12:11 am Wednesday, June 1, 2016

LAPLACE — Friday was the first time Audrey Evans and her mother Katherine attended the Memorial Day breakfast put on by Get High on Life.

Audrey’s father, Rex W. Evans, who passed away in 2001, served during World War II in the Pacific and was awarded three Bronze Stars for his service.

Audrey said the family has lived in LaPlace since 1962.

“In the service, my dad was the radio operator in a big C-3 cargo plane,” she said. “The reason he got the three Bronze Stars is because they were in really dangerous terrain in the middle of the rainforest in Burma. He would get a call over the radio that the Japanese were coming, and they had to get out of there real quick so they dropped whatever they had. A lot of what they were carrying was fuel. He used to say they had no idea if it dropped in the forest or on a village, because they just had to scram.”

It’s very rare, Audrey said, for someone to receive three Bronze Stars.

“I’m proud,” she said with tears in her eyes. “I’m proud that he did what was needed and what had to be done.”

Rex, as described by his daughter, was a gentleman, a musician, and an accountant with the ability to fix watches.

Being able to celebrate her father’s military service and be around other veterans and their families was a nice experience for Audrey and her mother.

“It’s great that there is recognition for people that have gone to war and haven’t come back,” she said. “We need to honor veterans. It’s a very serious thing to go to war, and we need to provide whatever is necessary for the people that make scarifies.”

Having the Memorial Breakfast, Audrey feels, is a good way to get veterans together to share their experiences with others so they can appreciate all of the different branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

“It’s always very special to interact with veterans,” she said. “I know a lot of them aren’t here, but for the ones that are, it’s great for them to continue this tradition with their peers.”

Katherine said she and her daughter plan to attend the breakfast again next year.

“We’ve lived here for a long time, and this is a happy town,” she said. “(My husband) was a musician and he found other musicians in the area. We had a happy time in LaPlace.”

Even though she didn’t meet Rex until after the war at LSU, she is always proud of his service.

“I was happy he was able to do what he did,” she said. “I absolutely had fun at the breakfast, we’ll have to come again.”

Audrey and Katherine stood in for Rex when it was time for the other Bronze Star recipients to take a group photo.