A Lafayette attorney receives a prestigious award from the Louisiana National Guard for his service in the wake of a tragedy. About nine months ago, 11 soldiers were killed when the helicopter they were in crashed along the Florida coast during a training exercise.
A Lafayette Attorney named Roan Evans was assigned to assist in the follow-up investigation as legal counsel. Captain Evans is a practicing attorney and a Judge Advocate for the Louisiana National Guard. Evans says he was one of the first legal advisors from the guard to arrive on the scene.
Evans says he was eventually relieved by a full-time National Guard Judge Advocate. “We play different roles with one being to prosecute or defend in court-martials. We also advise commanders in different aspects of military life, investigations, and combat,” explains Evans.
The Louisiana National Guard eventually assigned Evans to serve on the investigative team as legal counsel. On Saturday, Evans was awarded The Cross of Merit Ribbon for his dedication and meritorious service in helping service members during a highly sensitive investigation. “Every time I’m called for deployment for an emergency; that is what I signed up for and that’s what I volunteered to do,” says Evans.
Evans has been a member of the Louisiana National Guard since 2007. “It was very emotional. It was very rewarding to be able to help. I wouldn’t take it back for anything,” adds Evans.
Evans says other Judge Advocates and investigative team members are scheduled to awards.