b. 17/07/1948 Chelsea, Massachusetts. d. 18/07/1969 Tay Ninh, Vietnam.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 18/07/1969 Tay Ninh, Vietnam.
Rodney Evans was the adopted son of the Evans family of Florala, Alabama. His parents owned a dry cleaning business. After joining the US Army, he married his High School sweetheart, Barbara Geohagan. Evans was then sent to Vietnam and successfully completed a full tour of duty.
Upon his return to the United States, he was stationed at Fort Rucker, Alabama, not far from where he grew up. Due to financial constraints his wife lived with her parents and would drive up to Fort Rucker on weekends to pick him up and take him home.
On Thursday, September 5, 1968, Barbara was killed in a car accident after going to Ft Rucker to take care of some business. She lost control of her car. Evans became very depressed, re-enlisted and volunteered for another tour in Vietnam. It took over a year for his papers to be processed and for Evans to receive orders for his return to Vietnam. By then, with the help of close friends he had come to grips with his loss. Shortly before his return to Vietnam, he realized his feelings had grown deep for one of these friends, Doris Alford. In fact, Doris had been instrumental in giving Rodney a reason to want to live. She had joined him in honoring Barbara and encouraged him to talk about her and cherish her memory. the impact led him to tell friends and his twin brother, Wyman, he no longer wanted to die and regretted re-upping for Vietnam. After he had left for Vietnam, Doris and his closest friends, the Dunn's (with whom he and Wyman lived after Army enlistment and again after Barbara's death) petitioned legislators and the Army to cut-short Evans' tour of duty due to the reasons he re-upped—that he was under mental duress. Doris and the Dunn's received a call from Evans shortly before his death, while he was on a short "rest and relaxation" break. He was so grateful for the efforts. The word came from one legislator that Evans' paperwork was being processed and, indeed, he would be returned. It would take a few weeks, but he would be released from the commitment. Less than a week later, Evans was killed in action.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Evans distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism while serving as a squad leader in a reconnaissance sweep through heavy vegetation to reconnoiter a strong enemy position. As the force approached a well-defined trail, the platoon scout warned that the trail was booby-trapped. Sgt. Evans led his squad on a route parallel to the trail. The force had started to move forward when a nearby squad was hit by the blast of a concealed mine. Looking to his right Sgt. Evans saw a second enemy device. With complete disregard for his safety he shouted a warning to his men, dived to the ground and crawled toward the mine. Just as he reached it an enemy soldier detonated the explosive and Sgt. Evans absorbed the full impact with his body. His gallant and selfless action saved his comrades from probable death or injury and served as an inspiration to his entire unit.
BURIAL LOCATION: LIBERTY HILL CHURCH CEMETERY, FLORALA, ALABAMA.