EDITORIAL: Some veterans never quit active service
His Iraqi soldiers fondly referred to him as Abu — Uncle.
"If you live past 50," said Master Sgt. Jack Evensizer, "you're old."
That quote came from a Press article by Tom Greene published 17 years ago today. The Veterans Day newspaper spotlight shined brightly on Evensizer because of the duty he had recently concluded — helping combat train the last three battalions of the Iraqi Army — and noted that the “old man” had turned 60 while on duty in Kirkuk, Iraq.
In a sense, the venerable Uncle Jack has continued his training exercises ever since. Only now it’s readers of The Press who benefit from Evensizer’s leadership skills and expertise.
Starting in 2010, Evensizer began to pen occasional articles enlightening readers on a multitude of military-related subjects. He has had license to advocate for his stars-and-stripes brethren, but for the most part, Evensizer has dug into meaty subjects — historical and present day — explaining them clearly and succinctly. And humbly.
Evensizer was awarded the Bronze Star. He earned the Combat Infantry Badge and the prestigious 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment “Blackhorse” combat patch. If there was a badge for humility, he'd have that one, too.
The longtime Dalton Gardens resident happens to be one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. In one of the great marvels of the world, you’ll find that many of our veterans have continued their service long after retiring the uniform, with smiles rather than bitterness.
Look around. In addition to Uncle Jack you’ll see people like Len Crosby, who helped spearhead the North Idaho State Veterans Home opening today in Post Falls; like Ben Rutherford, a proud Marine who has become synonymous with the local Toys for Tots program providing Christmas gifts to needy children.
Today and every day, The Press salutes all veterans but admits to an even higher level of gratitude for those who put themselves in harm’s way, as men like Rutherford, Crosby and Evensizer did.
They served their nation with distinction. Now they serve their community with dedication.