Monthly Archives: May 2011

Fred K. Evers

What do I know about Private Fred Evers? Precious little actually. But there’s a story behind what I do know.

I started going to the Dayton National Cemetery back in 2006 on Memorial and Veteran’s day. Most times I’d end up in roughly the same area, Section P. I guess I thought since most of these guys were in the Civil War, they had precious few people that cared. Michael and I always straightened their flags and I taught him about honoring those who sacrificed for you.

But in 2008, as I was leaving I had a “chance” meeting with an old gentleman. He had to be over 80. He asked me if I could help. All he knew was that his name was Evers, and had coordinates of “P, 16, 23”. I knew we were in the right section, but since I never had to look someone up, I had no idea if it counted from the top or bottom. Since it was HOT that days (in the 90s with no breeze), I suggested he stay in the shade, and I’d find him.

It took a few attempts, but I worked it out. He began to tell me a bit about himself. He was turning 90 that year. He lived in Pennsylvania and he had made the journey one last time. “I’m getting old, can’t get around good , and the car ride is just to hard on me. But I wanted to see him one last time.” It broke my heart to witness this. I didn’t want to intrude, but I didn’t want to leave. Was this why I always “somehow” ended up here? I knew what I had to do. I assured him that Fred Evers would not be forgotten. “We come here every year” I said. He thanked me and hugged me. He thought that Michael was a great kid, because he was here at the age of 5.

So I went Veteran’s day 2008. Checked out the area, but went to Private Evers’ grave. I made a promise. And in 2009, when it was really cold on Veteran’s Day, there I was. No visible sign that anyone in section P had a visitor. But Private Evers did.

So what do I know? Fred Evers died on June 9 (or 10th) in 1907. He was a veteran of the Civil War. He was in Company F of the 5th Ohio Infantry (Based out of Cincinnati). Hopefully I can uncover more on this man.

Find a Grave – http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=633694
5th Ohio Infantry – http://www.ohiocivilwar.com/cw5.html
Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5th_Ohio_Infantry

Last full measure of devotion

As of the time I write this note, 72 officers have given their lives for our freedom and safety here at home, ant it’s only May! They are from big cities to towns you may have never heard of. Some were parents, some were brothers or sisters, some were husbands or wives. Some were funny, some were serious.

Today, I’m going to be a better person than yesterday. Today I’m going to notice the value of life a little more. I’m going to appreciate what others do for me a little more.

And with a renewed sense of purpose, and dedication to the cause that burns so hot in my heart, that the words of Abraham Lincoln may be true, “that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain”.

Sergeant Brian Dulle – May he rest in peace.

I sit down to put my thoughts to words 22 hours after the horrific death of Sergeant Brian Dulle. Mainly to compose my thoughts. It’s a little therapeutic for me. On January 1 of this year I was completely blind-sighted. I remember the hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. I remember the tears that came. The ache that I was powerless to do anything about what just occurred. The notion of “What price is too high for our safety? Especially those who care nothing of what just happened?” And now, only 129 days later, we loose another officer. I loose another officer.

What was true for Deputy Hopper, is also true for Deputy Dulle. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office believes in me and my mission to support officers and firefighters. I did not know him, but he kew something about me. He read my note on the holidays. He knew that Dr. Mike was there. And that someone gave a darn that he was out there. On the holidays, in the rain, in the snow, in the cold, in the hot summer sun, after tornadoes. In court on days off, working odd shifts to cover for sick co-workers. Someone cared that he was giving up time with his family to protect countless other families.

I have lost 4 officers since I began this mission in 2008. 3 this year. I won’t say that I know or understand the pain that the Lexington Police Department, and this year the Clark County Sheriff’s Department , the Stow Police Department, and recently the Warren County Sheriff’s office has come to know. Nor do I speak for them. I can’t even imagine what it is like to have a co-worker, a friend, to die and still have to continue to do the same job everyday. I can’t fathom what it is like to see evil descend and take someone that close, and still have to shine my badge, prepare my guns, and march off again into a battle, wondering if I’m next. A mostly thankless job in a increasingly thankless society. Officer Mark Bruns once said “Don’t feel sorry for us. We chose this life.” Well I do. I feel sorry. I feel sorry that people THEY protect can be so brittle, shallow, and self-absorbed. I feel sorry for every time they take crap from their community they “protect and serve” after attending funerals, or taking children to cancer treatments, or doing the things they have to do every day. I feel sorry that as critical as they are to society, that society treats them with contempt.

But that’s an amazing thing about cops. I hear from some of them every time I send a note. I see and hear it in the cars when I ride. And the determination at rallys, and even at funerals. Their training pounds one thing into their heads “I WILL SURVIVE”. I will out-shoot, out-drive, and out-maneuver the evil around me. They are that “thin blue line” that protects us from what we THINK the world is from what the world REALLY is. And they do it with courage, dedication and determination.

So they’ll be OK. They’ll grieve. They’ll honor, and they’ll get up and do it again. They’ll be there for me, so I’ll be there for them. That’s what I do. And I’ll do it until the day that I die. They are my heroes.