WWII Veteran Finally Receives His Medals
Posted July 5, 2001 9:34 a.m. EDT
HOKE COUNTY — A local war veteran has something special to celebrate. Last month, he received four war medals that were 56 years past due.
Malachi Evans, 81, is a World War II veteran. He has survived three strokes and is diagnosed with cancer, but one day last August, his granddaughter, Gwen, read his discharge papers and made a startling discovery.
"She read it very thoroughly and found that he was entitled to war medals," says Donna Evans, Malachi's daughter.
He was supposed to have received four medals; one for good conduct, one for victory and two theater ribbons, one of which has a bronze star.
It took nine months from the first phone call to the time Evans finally received his medals. He received them on June 17 -- Father's Day.
"He kept taking them out and looking at them over and over, and he just kept looking," she says.
It took 56 years for the county to recognize Evans' service in World War II, but in the eyes of his family, it was an honor he already earned.
"We love him. He is my hero, and he's Gwen's hero. We knew that before he even got the medals," she says.
Evans says he knew he was supposed to receive the medals when he was discharged in 1945 at Fort Bragg, but he was told there were no more left.