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    Posted June 11, 2012 by
    billmail
    Location
    Johnstown, Pennsylvania
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What makes your Father's Day special?

    He didn't mean to be a Hero

     
    Thomas W. Evans was born November 25, 1919 in a mid-sized town, Johnstown Pennsylvania.
    He grew up there, graduated high school and then the war started.
    He joined up in the Air Force, served in the Pacific Theater, became a Sergeant.
    He didn’t mean to be a hero.

    He came home from the war and was honorably discharged.
    He married a wonderful woman and they had four children, all boys.
    One, James Robert, died soon after birth.
    The three remaining boys proved to be enough of a challenge though.
    He would often cuss and his wife and children worried whether he would make it to heaven. His defense was “those boys would make a saint swear!”
    He was mostly right on that account.
    He didn’t mean to be a hero.

    His work was hard and tiring. He worked shifts and had to walk “a beat”.
    His free time was precious.
    Two of his sons joined the boy scouts. Soon, they were pressuring him to become a Scout Leader. He resisted for awhile but finally gave in.
    He played softball, went on the many camping trips and helped boys to learn how to be selfless and self-sufficient.
    He didn’t mean to be a hero.

    He was not rich in the monetary sense for being a policeman was not a high-paying job.
    But his children lacked for nothing. One time they saw an ad for a log cabin house.
    He said it cost too much and probably was worth less. But then he and their grandfather proceeded to buy some wood and build the grandest cabin of them all.
    The boys and their friends had many happy times playing in that log cabin.
    It lasted well over twenty-five years. Guess it was pretty well built.
    He didn’t mean to be a hero.

    November 25, 1959 he celebrated his fortieth birthday.
    A daunting date in most people’s lives, he laughed, hugged his wife and said,
    “The best is yet to be”.
    When he returned from his work as a patrolman, his joyful whistle would announce his coming. His children would rush out to greet him and jump up into his arms.
    He didn’t mean to be a hero.

    All was excitement in the household as Christmas 1959 approached.
    The boys had their hopes set on a hockey game but worried that it cost too much.
    They needn’t have worried; the hockey game was already bought and stored at their grandparents attic right next store.
    He didn’t mean to be a hero.

    December 18, 1959, his shift almost over, he headed back to the station to sign out and go home.
    A loud screeching of tires awakened his tired senses. Someone was driving too fast.
    He rushed to see what was the cause of the noise.
    A car careened around a corner, failing to stop and was speeding up the street.
    He stepped off the curb and blew his whistle for the car to stop, raising his hand.
    The car didn’t stop and he was thrown across the street.
    He didn’t mean to be a hero....but he was/is....our dad.

    Love,
    Your sons – Dave, Bill and Rick

    Thomas W. Evans Panel 13 E-17
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