John J. Johnson Elementary students honor veterans

By By Kara Carrier / American Press

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.”

List of Veterans Day Events

Calcasieu

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 912 feet.

Veterans Day program: 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, St. Margaret Catholic School’s gym.

Beauregard

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.

Jeff Davis

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.

Allen

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.