Congressman Tim Scott presents Vietnam veteran with high honor

First Lt. Evans Kayser now holds the Silver Star among many other honors. / Lisa Edge

Outside the American Legion in Murrells Inlet men and women held American flags to mark Friday's ceremony. The man of honor, Legion commander First Lt. Evans Kayser, who is now being recognized for his courageous efforts in Vietnam on June 19 and 20, 1967.

While on a routine flight, Kayser got the call to help fellow soldiers who were ambushed. He has many memories of that day but there's one image he hasn't forgotten.

"We came in and a dustoff medivac chopper had loaded, had come to a hover, was lifting off lifted up to go into flight and all of sudden rolled almost to a 90 degree angle and fell to the side."

Kayser says four crew members and several wounded soldiers were on board. No one survived the crash.

Despite the loss of his comrades Kayser continued to fight, "There was so much confusion because our guys had no cover. The Viet Cong were in bunkers they were protected and it was very difficult to find them they were that well camouflaged to try to take them out to get these guys back to safety," he adds.

Four decades later he's now been awarded the Silver Star, the third highest honor for valor. Congressman Tim Scott presented the medal in front of crowd of admirers but Kayser is humble about the recognition.

"I don't know of any helicopter pilot or any combat soldier or sailor or airman that ever went into combat thinking that they were going to come home decorated. To be very honest with you most of the times you do things you do it because you truly believe you're not gonna live."

Kayser goes on to say he dedicates his award to those who didn't make it.

Also during the ceremony Kayser presented Congressman Scott with an American Legion coin for his public service. The coin is typically given to those who have served in the military.

Kayser served in the Army from 1965 to 1968.