The miracle of Benny Don Rogers

Posted by : Staff Reports | On : November 23, 2011

Dear Editor,

I believe that a miracle happened when they found Benny Don Rogers and brought his remains home to Athens after 61 years. On behalf of the family, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to all of those who were involved in the return and burial of SFC Benny Don Rogers. The ceremony was truly inspiring.

From Hawaii to DFW to Athens, everyone involved was most respectful and treated the family with great kindness. A volunteer veterans’ motorcycle guard escorted the casket to the Hannigan and Smith Funeral Home in Athens. The 3-8 Cavalry, 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment from Fort Hood Texas sent an honor guard to accompany the casket from the funeral home to the services in Willow Springs Baptist Church and then to the services at the cemetery.

Commissioner Joe Hall, the current pastor of the Willow Springs Baptist Church, made an extra effort to install a sound system so that all could hear. Reverend Bud Peters, former pastor of the church, gave a moving eulogy. At the cemetery Sheriff Ray Nutt spent his day off making it easy for the mourners to find parking places. The remarks of Chaplain Major Thomas P. Holmes were comforting and helped to bring closure. His words will long be remembered.

A very special thank you to Captain Adrian Vasquez who made all the arrangements and took care of all the details, and to his helper, Andel Wagoner, funeral director at Hannigan and Smith. It is something I will remember the rest of my life.


Edith Rounsavall