Longview Veterans Advocate Dies In Crash - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Longview Veterans Advocate Dies In Crash

An East Texan known for his tireless work for veterans affairs has died in a tragic motorcycle accident. Longview's American Legion Post 131 Commander H.L. "Buddy" Pricer died in an accident Sunday evening. Pricer was killed when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a truck on Highway 31 at the Gregg County, Smith County line. The flag at American Legion Post 131 flies at half-staff today, to remember the longtime champion for veterans issues.

"Buddy had a gift not only of gab but of sincerity, caring for the veterans caring for his friends," says Pricer's friend John Talley.

News of his death was shattering to many who knew him. He was a 20-year navy man, and for a decade he ran the post and organized the yearly Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Run For The Wall to Washington, D.C. to honor all vets. He organized gift box programs for soldiers overseas, and relief funds for families of soldiers.

"Extremely hard charging, involved in so many things, constantly of helping veterans out," says fellow motorcycle rider First Sergeant Ben Gurganus of the Texas Army National Guard.

"People would say, "Oh Buddy, he was doing that for publicity."  That was the last thing Buddy wanted. Buddy did not want acknowledgement, he just wanted it done," says Pricer's wife of 43 years, Elizabeth Pricer.

A patriot, advocate for veterans, there was no quit in Buddy Pricer, and there was no such word as "can't".

He touched many people in his life, and they remembered the man with a distinctive look.

"His handlebar moustache, big smile, all of his feelings all of his thoughts were right on his face," Talley says.

"Amazed at all the people he touched and how much outpouring of love that everybody showed, he worked so hard for the veterans," says Elizabeth.

In the last interview we did with Buddy, he again put others before himself.

"Our veterans do a job for everybody, have always done a job for everybody and they're trying to keep this country and other nations free" said Pricer in a May 2005 interview.

Buddy Pricer was 63. His funeral will be held at Welch's Funeral home on Judson road at 10 a.m on Saturday.

Bob Hallmark, reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com


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