HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Family and friends are remembering the life and legacy of Colonel Ed Felsher on Memorial Day. The 30-year active duty soldier and career officer from Hattiesburg died on Saturday, May 27.

While in the Army, Felsher served two combat tours in Vietnam, working as an airborne ranger infantry officer. He later commanded an infantry battalion in Fort Lewis, Washington.

Felsher retired from the Army in 1984 as a full colonel. He then became a professor of military science at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM).

His family and friends said he was a true American hero.

“He was my mentor. When I was selected for Brigadier General, he was one of two people I immediately called to thank. I think I learned more about leadership and just common sense of decency, treating people with dignity and respect from him. During my time, not only under him, under his leadership in the Army, but throughout the years, I oftentimes confided in him, particularly with operational combat deployments on tough issues, how to deal with people matters. He was always able to act like sort of like a helicopter, land me on the ground, calm me down, help me make sense of things. His sage advice always, always carried the day,” said Jeff Hammond, Felsher’s friend.

“He was always helping people, and he never wanted any credit. Didn’t want to be known. Every Thanksgiving and every Christmas, he would always find a family, and they would always provide their Thanksgiving meal. He would always provide their Christmas meal and their gifts and never want to be recognized,” said Charlie Felsher, the colonel’s son.

Felsher was 87. Memorials to Felsher can be made through the USM Center for Military Veterans.