New road signs will be unveiled; Memorial Day Service Set – The Andalusia Star-News
On Monday, state and local authorities will unveil signs renaming Hwy. 55 in memory of the county’s only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Sgt. Rodney J. Evans, who died in Vietnam.
The Covington Veterans Foundation, the City of Andalucia, the Town of Florala and the Covington County Commission worked with Rep. Mike Jones Jr. to get the designation approved by the Alabama Legislative Assembly.
Signs will be unveiled on the highway. 55 near Florala at 8:45 a.m. Monday and at 9:30 a.m. near the Covington County Schools track facility. Members of the Evans family are also expected.
sergeant. Evans died a day after his 21st birthday, on July 18, 1969, in Tay Ninh Province, southern Vietnam. He was serving as a squad leader in a reconnaissance sweep through dense vegetation to reconnoiter a strong enemy position. As the force approached a well-defined track, the platoon scout warned that the track was booby-trapped. sergeant. Evans led his team down a road parallel to the track. The force had begun to advance when a nearby squad was hit by the explosion of a concealed mine. Looking to his right, Sgt. Evans saw a second enemy aircraft. With complete disregard for his safety, he shouted a warning to his men, dove to the ground, and crawled towards the mine. Just as he reached it, an enemy soldier detonated the explosive and Sgt. Evans absorbed the entire impact with his body. His selfless action saved his comrades from probable death or injury and served as an inspiration to his entire unit.
President Richard Nixon presented the award to his family at the White House on April 22, 1971, “for conspicuous bravery and fearlessness in action at the risk of his life beyond the call of duty.”
Following the unveilings, the City of Andalucia will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Covington Veterans Memorial on the City Hall campus.
Two of Evans’ platoon members have been asked to speak at the ceremony, but are currently unable to travel. Circuit Judge Ben Bowden, who is president of the Covington Veterans Foundation, will share the remarks and memories the two men sent.