|Life Before the Service
Evan was a beautiful baby born Tuesday May 22, 1979 at 12:25 in the afternoon in Panorama City, California and subsequently became a resident of West Hills, California. He learned fast and moved quickly. He was a gifted student and a talented musician who loved Spaghetti O's, rocky road ice cream, macaroni and cheese and applesauce.
Evan did a lot in his short 24 years and everything he accomplished he did so to the ultimate. He excelled at everything he attempted, and always gave 150%. He was an extraordinary man. He had character. He only wore Vans Old School shoes. He was passionate, but in a quiet way. He loved children. His intelligence was startling and he walked with the assurance of a man twice his age. We loved him.
Evan loved his family without reservation. At a very young age, he found purpose and direction with his soul mate Ashley, to whom he married on May 6, 2000. He formed an eternal bond with his younger brother, Drew, and loved him with all his heart. Evan always found closeness and support in his loving parents. He was a wellspring of love.
SLIDESHOW EVAN'S SONG
Evan's Service Career
SGT Evan Ashcraft was inducted into the U.S. Army on January 20, 2000 at age 20. He was assigned to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky with the 101st Airborne Division - the Screaming Eagles. While showing extraordinary performance and strong leadership ability during basic training, Evan was made a team leader.
Always seeking a challenge, Evan volunteered for duty with the elite Army Rangers. In November 2002, he was sent for training in North Carolina. In that month, a record-breaking ice storm occurred while training was underway, and during nighttime maneuvers while running through the woods, Evan stepped in a depression left by an ice-laden fallen tree. This caused a fractured ankle that he believed would disqualify him from training if discovered. For three days, Evan continued training on this injured foot, trying to hide his injury, until finally a medical corpsman noticed Evan limping. He was returned to Ft. Campbell with the promise that he could train again in the future.
Re-training did not occur because on March 1, 2003, Evan was deployed to Kuwait to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Evan was part of Company A, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division. In May, 2003 he was promoted to Corporal and was part of the division that participated in the liberation of the Baghdad International Airport.
Seeing action was common for Evan. In April 2003, while riding in a Humvee convoy with two other soldiers, the forward vehicle hit a land mine and the convoy encountered small arms fire. The soldiers accompanying Evan were wounded by shrapnel and were unable to move or get out of the line of fire. Evan evacuated both men so they could receive medical attention thus saving their lives. His good friend Sergeant Vincent ("Archie") Arcebuce, one of the soldiers Evan rescued later said that Evan was a natural leader and was always there for his men.
Evan was mortally wounded in the early morning hours of July 24, 2003. He was driving a Humvee with Staff Sergeant Hector Perez in the passenger seat. Specialist Raheen Heighter was sitting behind SGT Perez and SGT Zed Shipley was sitting behind Evan. The unit was on a call-for-help mission while guarding an oil refinery near the town of al-Hawd. The convoy was ambushed and rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire hit the group killing SGT Perez, CPL Hieghter and Evan. SGT Arcebuce accompanied Evan’s body home to California.
Evan was interred at Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth, California on August 2, 2003. SGT Arcebuce could only say to Evan’s mother, “What am I going to do without him?” Evan was 24 years old when he was killed. He was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery for the medical evacuation of his team in April, the Purple Heart and the rank of Sergeant posthumously. Evan served his country with unqualified honor. He was the consummate soldier and found meaning in life through his will to excel. Evan was a hero and will remain in our hearts forever.