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WWII veteran named 2012 Veteran of the Year

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Albany/HV: WWII veteran named 2012 Veteran of the Year
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It was 68 years ago that retired Captain Charles Evans was deployed to World War II. Now, at the age of 95, he's being honored as the state's 2012 Veteran of the Year. Our Brooke Selby was in Saratoga Springs to find out what makes this man so special.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- For Captain Charles Evans, 95, of Saratoga Springs, it began with a love affair in 1944 and it has lasted a lifetime.

“I was in the service when we got married, we had been dating for some time," said Evans.

Charles and his wife Elyse were married 68 years ago, days before he was deployed to World War II as a United States Army Air Force pilot. Soon after another affair began.

Evans remembered, "I just wanted to fly airplanes, thats what I was interested in."

That was exactly what he did. Evans completed more than 30 combat missions in Europe during the war.

General Hartman of the State Military Museum said, "It's quite extraordinary, most people don't even make 25."

After being discharged, he returned home to be a pilot with American Airlines and raise his family of four with Elyse.

While Captain Evans served more than 30 combat missions in World War II, his family said it was rare that he discussed it at home.

Evans wife, Elyse said, "To this day it's been very little, even with our children."

“He didn't talk about it a lot but like today, he remembers every mission to the last altitude they were flying at," added Stephen, his son.

That is exactly why his family isn't surprised that the State Military Museum is honoring him as the 2012 New York State Veteran of the year, 68 years later.

Stephen said, “We always thought he was kind of a hero to us, so it's kind of special to see everyone come out and give him that recognition, a little tear in the eye."

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