Lehigh Valley

Erik Evans honors vets by displaying uniforms in Slatington

Lehigh County man honors veterans with mannequins

SLATINGTON, Pa. - Many people on Main Street in Slatington show their patriotism with displays of American flags, pinwheels and balloons.

But Erik Evans shows his pride each Memorial Day by displaying military uniforms from wars past.

Evans and his father -- both antique enthusiasts -- started displaying the uniforms outside of the elder Evans' home five years ago.

"We just felt that by showing that we have the display that we care and that nothing is forgotten," said Evans. "And our freedom is greatly appreciated from the lives that were lost."

The six uniforms on display represent different military branches from different wars.

Among them: an army uniform from World War I, a navy uniform from World War II, a Green Beret uniform from Vietnam and a statue showing a uniform from the Civil War.

"We collected them over the years by going to various gun shows," said Evans. "Sometimes you'll have military flea markets where you can buy them."

Evans treasures all of the memorabilia he's collected over the years, but one uniform is special.

It belonged to his grandfather - Seaman 2nd Class Edward Evans, who served in the Navy in World War II.

"We have a lot of background with our family, the Evans name in the military, which we're very proud of," said Evans.

His grandfather's military ambitions started at just six years old, beginning a long military family tradition.

Evans also has relatives who fought in Korea, Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm.

But he said the display  isn't just a tribute to his family; it's for all veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice.

"They are very appreciated and I'm just glad that people take the time to stop and look," said Evans.

Evans hopes to add to his military uniform collection with each passing year.

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