ORDWAY, Colorado — Locals in the small Colorado town of Ordway say a “hero” is gone. World War II Veteran, Edward Chavez recently passed away at the age of 102.
A mass was held at Saint Peter’s Catholic Church to celebrate Chavez’s life and dedication to his faith.
“He never missed a Sunday,” said grandson, Joey DeHerrera “You know, he even had a heart attack one Sunday and still showed up to church, right after he had the heart attack.
After the service a 21 gun salute was fired and taps played outside the church to recognize Chavez’s military service.
“Actually went into war in the Utah Beach D-Day invasion as a combat medic,” said DeHerrera, “He was there through the entirety of the war, actually, in a field hospital, taking care of wounded soldiers.
DeHerrera said his grandfather was proud to serve his country while also being humble about it. He did not talk about it a lot, but the few details he shared offer a glimpse of facing danger.
“One thing he would say is how the airplanes used to shoot out. And when they would run the patients across they’d have to wait…to take them across the street because of the airplanes. [It] looked like firecrackers on the ground,”
Many local in Ordway called Chavez “grandpa” whether or not they were family. Town leaders recently named a community park after him.
“He was our hero, he’s our hometown hero here in Ordway,” said DeHerrera.
Close to 16 million people from the United State served in World War II. There are now less than 200 thousand of those veterans still alive.
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