Hero's in our Midst
On November 9th, we lost our sweet, gentle and kind Brother-in-Law, Don Ledford. Don was a wonderful human being, smiling all the time, he never spoke an ill word against anyone. Don was a Vietnam War Veteran with two purple hearts, a time in his life that he didn't speak of. He married his sweetheart Catherine Silvers and even though they lost their only son in a tragic accident (Daniel), he went on living life, loving people and his sweetheart.He loved his family and friends and always wanted them around. He played the mandolin and guitar with ease and if you asked would sing a song for you, smiling the entire time. Don retired from Evergreen and went on with his simple life but enjoying it until, one day his sweetheart came in and he was having chest pain. After going to the hospital, he learned that he was to have heart surgery immediately. The surgery went without complications, but our sweet Don woke up a different man, he started experiencing all of the horrific scenes he had experienced in Vietnam again to the degree that on November 9, 2012, we lost him.
Don was a hero in all aspects of his life and will always be one of the most special people I have ever had the pleasure to spend time with. I met another hero at the viewing for our dear Don. Mr. Bill Wilke asked if he could have the honor of standing watch over Don. He arrived at Wells Funeral Home at 4:00 pm, dressed in his military dress uniform and ready to stand watch. Mr. Wilke stood at attention at the end of Don's casket never leaving until past 11:00 PM that night. Friends and family marched through, talking, looking at the Purple Hearts that had been awarded to Don, watching video's of a wonderful life, Mr. Wilke never wavered. After the friends and family had gone, Mr. Wilke, saluted Don and relieved him of his duty, ending with "I Have The Watch." Mr. Wilke did not do this for himself, he did it for a lost soldier, a moment only a soldier can truly understand. Mr. Wilke was waiting at the grave site the next day, presenting the American Flag to Catherine. We lost a wonderful man, husband, son, brother, brother-n-law, and solider who was honored by a wonderful man, Mr. Bill Wilke.