FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) - WALB and Montlick and Associates would like to recognize the Heroes Among Us.
Each month, we will spotlight an active duty man or woman, a veteran, or a fallen hero whose service for our country goes beyond the battleground.
Ben Henry Evans enlisted in the Army at age 17.
"It was somewhere to go and something to do," Evans explained when asked why he joined the military.
Just a few months later, he deployed to fight in the Korean War.
The Ocilla native now battles dementia, but he has no trouble remembering the torture he experienced almost 70 years ago.
"In a battle, he was captured by communist troops," said Jason Dunn, Evans' grandson.
During that battle, Evans was shot in the leg. In his own words, he says he simply didn't run fast enough to escape capture.
He became a prisoner of war.
"It was over with then," Evans described. "I belonged to them for the next 33 months."
Those 33 months brought seemingly endless days of marching from prison camp to prison camp.
"He was routinely tortured and beaten by communist troops," Dunn explained.
Carrying wood, Evans would march for miles and miles alongside his fellow troops, many of whom he watched die.
Dunn said that his grandfather is quick to say that he turned to God to get him through the torture, alive.
"You had to," Evans said. "No way you would have made it if you didn't, with only one meal in the summer and two in the winter."
According to Dunn, Evans has recounted how each day he would tell his captors that he would live longer than them.
He survived, with many a story to tell.
When Evans got home to Ocilla in 1953, he weighed only 92 pounds.
"He's a little boney skinny fella ain't he?" Evans said as he looked at a photo from the day the city of Ocilla welcomed him home with a parade and a key to the city.
"You don't know what to say," Evans said of that day. "You don't know what to do. Grin's all you can do, then you go to crying."
The military accolades Evans got only scratch the surface when it comes to the service he so selflessly gave to our country.
His attitude now, nearly 70 years later, speaks for itself.
"Look at me now!" Evans exclaimed. "200 pounds."
His family is proud to be part of this hero's life.
"I think he set a good example on how to live life, is just take each day and live it through and let God worry about tomorrow," Dunn explained.
To nominate a military hero for "Heroes Among Us," click here.