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National Guard#039;s Evans honored with Bronze Star

The honor was recognition of courage, service and

leadership.

Lt. Col. Scott Evans, commander of the Ohio Army National Guard 216th Engineering Battalion was officially awarded the Bronze Star in a ceremony Monday morning on the Lawrence County Courthouse steps.

Col. Alan Rogers, commander of the Ohio Army National Guard 416th Engineering Group, of which the 216th is a part, came to Ironton to present the honor.

"Any time a leader is recognized with an honor like this, it is recognition of his individual leadership," Rogers said. "It is also recognition of what his soldiers have done. The 216th performed outstandingly in their mission in Iraq and Lt. Col. Evans performed outstandingly."

Evans said the honor was not solely for himself. He gave credit to the men who stood behind him during the ceremony, the same who had stood with him during that tour of duty in Iraq.

"The award is a reflection of the hard work and sacrifice of 622 soldiers," he said., "When the difficult call came,

they not only answered, they went overseas to Iraq and performed brilliantly. … These are our latest bunch of heroes. They deserve every honor we can give them."

A small crowd of family and friends gathered at the courthouse to watch as Rogers pinned the Bronze Star to Evans' uniform. Among them was Evans' sister, Charlotte Kuhlman, of Asheville, N.C., came home with her husband, Scott Kuhlman, for the ceremony.

"I'm proud of my little brother so here we are," Kuhlman said. "We're blessed to have him back."

Others were neither family nor friend but were supportive community members who came out of a sense of patriotism. George Shope, of Ironton,

does not know any of the members of the 216th. But he came to salute them just the same. "I just want to show support for our military."