The Pro Football Hall of Fame honors U.S. Navy Seal and Medal of Honor Recipient, Senior Chief Edward C. Byers, Jr., and World War II Veteran, Ernie Andrus, during the Honor The Heroes program on Saturday, November 5.
The program begins promptly at 11:00am. Admission to the museum will be free the entire day (and month of November) for veterans and one guest. Admission for Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Families will be free all day on Nov. 5th.
A free commemorative pin will be available for all Veterans in attendance for the Honor The Heroes program.
About Senior Chief Edward Carl Byers, Jr.
Senior Chief Edward Carl Byers, Jr. enlisted in the United States Navy in 1998 and went on to serve as a hospital corpsman. Byers first served at Great Lakes Naval Hospital and was later attached to 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines in 1999 and deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard USS Austin (LPD-4). He attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in 2002 and graduated with Class 242. In 2003, Byers attended the Special Operations Combat Medic course. He was assigned to his first SEAL team in May 2004.
Byers served 11 overseas deployments including nine combat tours, fighting multiple times in Iraq and Afghanistan. On February 29, 2016 President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Byers during a ceremony at the White House.
Byers is an active member of SEAL Team Six and was promoted to the rank of senior chief petty office in January 2016. He is a native of Toledo, Ohio.
About Ernie Andrus
More than 150,000 troops served on LSTs, including Andrus, who spent 18 months as a medic aboard LST 124. In 2000, a veterans' group Andrus belonged to tracked down one of the last intact LSTs.
The ship was in Greece, badly rusted, picked over and the engines hadn't run in months. The Americans could have it but were warned that it would take at least 44 strong, young men to restore the ship and sail it home. The average age of Adrus' group of 28 was 72. Andrus, at 77 years old, was the oldest.
On January 10, 2001, after six months of hard restoration work and more than 42 days at sea, the small crew of retired sailors sailed the LST 325 into harbor in Mobile, Alabama. More than 70 years after it was first launched, LST 325 is the last remaining vessel of its kind.
Andrus recently celebrated his 93rd birthday.