UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - After 70 years, he’s finally home. Pfc Junior Evans was killed in action in 1950 at the battle at Chosin Reservoir in Korea. Evan’s remains were escorted to Gilmer by the East Texas Patriot Guard Riders.
The East Texas Patriot Guard doesn’t hesitate to attend a veteran’s funeral, or provide an escort. They consider it their duty. Tim Langston has been there for many.
“It’s an honor to give honor to another soldier. And we just thank all the veterans for their service. And it’s such a privilege to stand with each and every one of them,” Langston said.
They took over in Canton to travel with Pfc Junior Evans on his last journey: the long trip home from Korea.
The twenty-year old’s remains were identified through DNA testing after North Korea Gave the U.S. 55 boxes said to contain the remains of many U.S. Service members killed during the Korean War.
“We go whenever the family asks us to be there and just to stand with the fallen soldier and their families,” Langston said.
And finally Evans was brought to McWhorter Funeral Home in Gilmer, where family members, Kathy and Carl Clark, awaited his arrival. It was closure for them.
“And closure for his sister as well. She never gave up hope. Even when the army declared him gone, she never gave up hope,” Kathy said.
“She hung on. She gave DNA, and she was just always hopeful and always wanting so I’m mainly doing this for her,” Carl said.
She was Carl’s mother, Patsy Evans Clark, and Junior Evan’s sister who recently passed away.
Carl had heard stories about his uncle.
“He was only 18 years old when he joined the service,” Carl relayed.
“We know that there was 55 crates that were brought back and he was found in the forty fourth crate. We do know that,” Kathy said.
And the riders think that all Americans should be:
“Showing the patriotism and love for your fellow soldiers, all the ones that fought and died for this freedom,” Langston said.
Junior Evans will be buried next to his sister.
“You know, he’s been in the Army for seventy years. We’re glad he came home where we can lay him to rest,” Kathey added.
If you’d like to pay your respects the family is holding a viewing on Friday at McWhorter Funeral Home at 1074 Highway 300 in Gilmer. The funeral service is Saturday at 2 p.m.