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Reader pays tribute to 'Mr. Evinrude'
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Editor, I recently attended the funeral of a lifelong friend of my family, and feel compelled to write this letter.
Today, we buried another of our brave defenders of this country — Harold J. Buck.  Some of us knew him as Harold, and some of us knew him as Buck. Most of us knew him as Mr. Evinrude/Johnson; yes he was the owner of Buck’s outboards in Midway on Isle of Wight.
Buck (as I knew him) had known me all of my life and in his death I was inspired by many things I heard about him and as I reflected, all that was said was very true. He was truly a gentleman; and he was true to his family, his faith, and his country.
Although his older son, Freddie, and I spent our early years together, as years past we went our separate ways and developed our own families and careers. In those early years there was a second son, Randy, whom I’ve known since his birth. Randy followed in his father’s footsteps and has spent his adult years working side by side with his dad, and that is something to be proud of.  
Buck started a small business that has not only provided him a second income after retirement from the US Postal Service (in the days when the postman walked the route and carried a heavy leather mail bag) but has provided a livelihood for Randy. It must have been wonderful working with your dad and being successful while doing it. That shows the love and respect this family has for each other.
I must say this about patriotism. As days and years go by, we bury more and more of our patriots. Today was one that offered his life in the defense of our country during World War II. But each day that passes we bury one of our patriots from WWII, Korea, Viet Nam and now Iraq.
I stood at the grave of my friend and saw the funeral detail from Fort Stewart remove the draped American flag from his coffin and fold it with the respect it is due and turn it over to his family. I was so proud of those three men. Then off in the distance, a lone soldier played Taps that echoed through the trees. It was beautiful and brought me to tears.
I did not get the chance to thank those four brave young men for what they did (they left before I could).
Thank you for not only honoring my friend, but for what you are doing in defense of our country. I think Buck would be proud of you as well. It matters not what branch of the service you go into, when this country is at war, the battle uniform is the same and so is the mission.
It takes all specialties to complete the mission and as a veteran from the early days of Viet Nam, it makes me proud of all of our military young men and women who have chosen to serve our country and defend our freedoms.
Dock B. Donaldson, III
Colonel’s Island

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