By Devin Corbitt
The Belton Journal
Colonel Otis Evans (Ret.) graced this week’s Belton Rotary Club meeting with his stories and his life advice.
Evans is a highly decorated native Texan who spent more than 27 years in the United States Army serving as a helicopter ambulance pilot and with U.S. Army Medical Department specializing in healthcare administration and health facilities management. He was stationed in many countries, including Vietnam, which was recently featured in the documentary “When I Have Your Wounded: The Dustoff Legacy.”
“It’s a real honor to be here with you, to share in the heritage and partake of the spirit that still lives in this club,” Evans said.
Evans began his presentation with stories from his time in the military.
“What’s so important about that mission of evacuating soldiers from the field: you’re saving families when you do that because every soldier has a family. That family is expecting that soldier to come back,” Evans said.
He then moved on to giving club members helpful life advice through his own experiences.
“If you don’t die, you’re going to live. And if you keep living, you’re going to get old. And if you get old, you’re going to mature,” Evans said. “So, I don’t spend much time worrying about gathering these things unto oneself because I know that things generally work out.”
But the meat of Evans’ presentation involved taking care of older family members as they transition into old age, in addition to giving stories from his colorful life.
“You need to start looking at your business when you get old,” Evans said. “Like it or not, your children start to worry about you. There is a point in your life as you get older where the roles reverse. You are no longer the parent; somebody else is figuring out they need to parent you. If I don’t want that to be a painful experience, then I’ve got to participate in the decision-making process. I learned a long time ago if you get ahead of the game, you get to make most of the decisions.”
The key for caretakers of these decision-makers is simple.
“If you are having to make decisions for someone my age or older, just remember: people will generally go along with the program if they think they’re in charge,” Evans said. “So how do you get an old person to believe they’re in charge? Options. Always give them three options. The one you want them to choose is never first, never talk up the one you want them to choose – talk up the ones you don’t want them to choose – and just to be negative, they’ll pick the one you want most times.”
The Belton Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at noon at The Gin at Nolan Creek.