- 36 years old
- Date of birth: Jan 5, 1965
- Date of passing: Oct 10, 2001
|Let the memory of MSG Evander be with us forever|
Air Force Master Sergeant Evander Andrews, 36, was killed October 10, 2001, in a forklift accident while helping in the construction of an airstrip in the Persian Gulf emirate Qatar. He entered the Air Force out of high school in his tiny central Maine hometown of Solon and was assigned to the 366th Civil Engineer Squadron from Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho.
At Andrews' funeral, held Monday in Arlington National Cemetery's stately Old Post chapel, Colonel Ken Shelton called the sergeant a man with a "behind-the-scenes style that was both sincere and heartfelt.''
Shelton, Andrews' former squadron commander, said he learned to recognize Andrews "by the soles of his boots and the back of his head,'' as he could much more often be found working on heavy equipment than sitting in an office.
"Leaders get involved - and Andy did,'' Shelton told the about 150 family, friends and Air Force personnel gathered for the service.
Family pastor Thomas Westall, a retired Air Force major, called Andrews a hero, prompting agreement from Andrews' 9-year-old son, Ethan. "Yep, he is a hero,'' the boy said in a small voice from the front row, where he sat with his mother, Judy, and three crying younger sisters, Leah, 6, Courtney, 4, and MacKenzie, 2.
An Air Force honor guard carried Andrews' flag-draped casket to the burial site, an area amid Arlington's rolling hills shaded by gold-tinged trees about 600 yards from the deep, blackened gash in the Pentagon. He was buried not far from the fresh graves of several who died when terrorist hijackers piloted a jetliner into the Defense Department headquarters.
Mourners gathered under the hot sun of an unusually balmy fall day as seven riflemen fired three volleys and a bugler sounded out the dolorous notes of "Taps.'' Pallbearers folded the flag and presented it to Andrews' widow and handed another flag to his mother.
Once Andrews' headstone takes its place among the cemetery's sea of white, precision-aligned granite slabs, it will read "Operation Enduring Freedom,'' the military's name for its campaign in Afghanistan against those believed behind the September 11 terrorist attacks against New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
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