TRIBUTE TO CPL. JAMES EDWARD SELF
We owe a great debt to the American soldier. Young men and women left everything behind to go to war. They left their jobs, families, wives, children, parents and siblings. They even left their personal belongings. They walked away from it all and offered their lives for a greater cause. All sacrificed some, but some made the ultimate sacrifice. We owe them a lot of gratitude.
I visited with Rev. James and Bertha Patton at Wood Village in Sweetwater, Tennessee to see what they remembered about the death of Edward Self. Rev. Patton spoke with me about it. He and Bertha thought of Edward as one of their own sons, because he spent a lot of time at their house when he was growing up. Edward was Bertha’s nephew. Rev. Patton said that he had never had a death affect him like Edwards’ death did. He said it hurt him more than any death ever had before or since. He went to the airport with Edward when he left for the war back in 1967. He had a feeling then that Edward would not come back from Vietnam alive. Alberta Watkins, Rev. Patton’s daughter, said Edward was like a brother to her and that he was a wonderful Christian man.
When word came that Edward had been killed, his widow, Evelyn Self, requested that the body would be taken to the home of Rev. and Mrs. Patton in the Notchey Creek Community, near Madisonville for the receiving of friends. He was part of the Patton family, so they agreed without hesitation. The body arrived several days after he died and the casket was brought to their house by the funeral directors at Biereley-Hale Funeral Home. Rev. Patton said they were able to view the body and see for themselves that Edward was in fact gone. His body was placed in the living room of the house. A large window had to be removed from the front of the house to allow for the casket to be brought inside. The doors were too narrow for the casket to pass through. The funeral was held at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Vonore, with interment in Sunset Cemetery in Madisonville.
Two articles appeared in the local newspaper concerning Edward’s death. Each one is reprinted below.
“Cpl. Edward Self, 20, a former employee of Hiwassee Furniture Co., Inc, was killed by hostile fire in Vietnam on August 22 to become Monroe County’s seventh casualty of the war. He is the third resident of the Notchey Creek Community to be killed in Vietnam.
Cpl. Self was the husband of the former Evelyn Mitchell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Amos Mitchell of the Notchey Creek Community. He and his wife lived in a mobile home next door to the home of the wife’s parents.
Cpl. Self dropped out of Vonore High School in 1966 and was married on March 26, 1967. He later received his high school diploma in the service.
He was an employee of Hiwassee Furniture Co., Inc. before entering the service in August 1967. He had been in Vietnam since Feb. 9, 1968.
A member of Battery A of the 13th Artillery, he was killed while serving with a gun crew in an artillery firing position while engaged with hostile forces, the notice of his death stated.
Self was the son of Mrs. Glen Patton of Marietta, Ga. I addition to his mother and wife, he is survived by a grandfather, Henderson King, of Vonore. The stepfather is a former Vonore High School janitor.
Mrs. Self is a 1967 graduate of Madisonville High School. She was told that the body will be returned here in from five to seven days.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete, however, the services will be held at Mt. Zion Baptist Church of which he was a member, with the Rev. Leon Watson and the Rev. Buford Albright officiating. Burial will be in Sunset Cemetery in Madisonville. Biereley-Hale Funeral Home is in charge.”
Taken from the Monroe County Citizen Democrat, August 28, 1968.
“Last rites for Cpl. Self set for Thursday”
“Funeral services for Cpl. James Edward Self, killed Aug. 22, in Vietnam will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
The body was scheduled to arrive in Madisonville at 12:51 p.m. Tuesday. It was to be taken to the home of the Rev. James Patton at Notchey Creek.
Self was the husband of the former Evelyn Mitchell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Amos Mitchell of Notchey Creek, and the son of Mrs. Glen Patton of Marietta, Ga.
He was the seventh Monroe Countian to be killed in Vietnam.”
Taken from the Monroe County Citizen Democrat, September 4, 1968.
Judge Kennedy stated: “In recognition of the men of Monroe County who have served, who are serving and who will serve to the extreme by sacrificing their lives for their country, and because the people of our country and county appear to be unconcerned that our men and boys are giving their lives in defense of the principles set out by the leaders of our country, I proclaim September 25, 1968 Vietnam Day in Monroe County.”
Taken from the Monroe County Citizen Democrat