John J. Johnson Elementary hosted a Take a Veteran to School Day event on Friday. The program included performances by the students and a guest speaker, Master Sgt. Larry Thomas Sr., US Army retired, who shared stories and photos from his time in the military. (Kara Carrier / American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, November 08, 2013 7:12 PM
Students at John J. Johnson Elementary School had the opportunity to invite veterans to school on Friday for their “Take a Veteran to School Day” event. The program included performances by the students and a guest speaker, Master Sgt. Larry Thomas Sr., US Army retired, who shared stories and photos from his time in the military.
Thomas spoke to the students about his military experience and the importance of training, respect and obedience. He also encouraged the students to focus on school and do something positive with their lives. “You guys are future veterans,” Thomas told the students. “Do you have to be a soldier? No, but the opportunity is there for you to grow up and make something out of yourself with whatever you do in your life.”
Artie Rious was one of the many veterans who attended the program and was invited by close family member Lavontia Rious, who is in the first grade at the school. “This is my third year attending the schools Veteran’s Day program; I’ve been coming since Lavontia was in pre-k,” said Rious. “I come for the kids. It’s important for them to learn respect for veterans and for them to remember us.”
Tiffany Washington, principal at J.J. Johnson, said the kids need to understand that there are people who do service in the community and people who do service for us, and inviting veterans to share their stories connects generations while helping students learn about the past.
“I think that if students get a clear understanding of how important that is, then maybe they will do a little bit better in school, be more responsible and maybe even want to be a veteran later on in life and join the service,” she said.
Washington said the school celebrates Veteran’s Day every year, but this is the first year the school particpated in the “Take a Veteran to School Day” program. “Our partner in education is Suddenlink,” she said. “This is a program the History Channel does every year, and Suddenlink participated this year and invited our school to be a part of it.”
Sulphur Veterans Day parade: 9:30 a.m. today, Nov. 9, Maplewood Drive. The parade will feature the Fort Polk 162nd Infantry Brigade. Lineup will be at 8:30 a.m.; all entries must be in place by 9:30 a.m. Parade participants will enter from Beglis Parkway onto the west end of Maplewood Drive, between Walgreens and Kroger. After the parade, event-goers are invited to the SPAR Aquatics Center, 933 West Parish Road, where there will by a small car show and free laser tag.
Douglas B. Fournet statue dedication: 11 a.m. today, Nov. 9, Veterans Memorial Park. A reception will be in the Civic Center Contraband Room after the ceremony. Fournet, a native of Lake Charles, was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in April 1970.
Free meal: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, Le Beaucoup Buffet at the L’Auberge Casino Resort. Veterans and active-duty military personnel can get a complimentary breakfast or lunch.
Avenue of Flags: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, Orange Grove-Graceland Cemetery. Casket flags will line the drive through the cemetery in honor of fallen service members. The event will feature a history circle with replicas of eight previous U.S. flags. The memorial flags measure 5 by 91⁄2 feet.
Veterans Day program: 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, St. Margaret Catholic School’s gym.
Veterans Day Camp: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, BeauCare, 628 High School Drive. Camp is for ages 6-17. Fee for meal and supplies is $18 for ages 6-10 and $10 for ages 11-17. Call 462-2273 or visit www.beaucares.org.
Veterans plaque dedication: 9 a.m. today, Nov. 9, Veteran’s Park, South Adams Street in Welsh. A flag retirement ceremony sponsored by the Welsh American Legion, VFW and Daughters of the American Revolution Live Oak Chapter will follow at the Welsh Museum, 202 E. South St. Refreshments will be served.
Veterans Day program: 8:15 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, James Ward Elementary School, 208 Shankland Ave., Jennings. Veterans and the public are invited to attend. Veteran family members may join their children or grandchildren for breakfast at 7 a.m. in the cafeteria. Call 824-1235.
Veterans coffee: Veterans are invited to visit any branch of the Allen Parish Library for coffee and doughnuts throughout the day Monday, Nov. 11. Displays of new military books and videos will be available.
Veterans program: 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, Kinder Elementary School gym. A reception honoring local veterans will be held in the school library afterward.