Finally coming home

Byars 3

SHEILA MARSHALL :::

More than 62 years after he was killed in action, Pfc. Bobby Byars was finally laid to rest in his hometown, with surviving family members, friends and the community present to honor the Korean War hero.

For Charlie Byars, this was the culmination of many years of hopes and prayers that he would someday learn what happened to his big brother.

“I remember him as my brother. He never even owned a car – he loved his motorcycle,” Charlie fondly recalled. “He was a small guy, though, so wherever he went, he always had his best friend with him. He had to have him there because he was too small to start his bike on his own!”

Charlie also proudly recalled his big brother’s dedication to serving his country.

“He actually ran away from home when he was only 16. Our daddy went over to Macon and found him as he was being sworn in,” Charlie said. “Daddy told the recruiter that he wasn’t old enough to go without his permission, and he brought Bobby home. Bobby told him that he was going to leave again as soon as he turned 17, and Daddy told him as soon as he was of legal age, it was his decision to make.”

Bobby Byars kept his word and enlisted on his 17th birthday.

He would be killed in action before reaching the age of 19.

To Charlie and the rest of the Byars family, Bobby has always been a hero.

His heroism and sacrifice will now be honored forevermore by a grateful community.  Ω

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the Feb. 21 edition of The Grip missing the words “killed in action” in the first sentence. We apologize to Grip readers and the Byars family for the typographical error.

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