New non-profit honors Miss-Lou veteransPublished 12:06am Wednesday, May 1, 2013
NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian School graduate Nathan Latimer has a simple definition of patriotism.
“(A patriot) is a person who will do whatever it takes for what they love — country or fellow man,” Latimer, a U.S. National Guard soldier, told ACCS students at a program Tuesday honoring his military service. “They will do what it takes to get the job done for what they believe in.”
Latimer, a 2012 ACCS graduate, was surprised with gifts and an all-expenses paid “redneck retreat” with “Redneck Adventures” TV show by a new local nonprofit Home with Heroes Foundation.
Latimer was equally surprised, he said, when he was handed a microphone to speak on camera at his alma mater for a television show pilot Home for Heroes is filming.
“I was surprised by everything, but I was really surprised when they gave me that mic,” Latimer said, laughing.
Latimer told the students about his best and worst basic training experiences.
“The worst was the gas chamber,” he said.
Latimer described the day when he and other recruits had to put on gas masks, go in the chamber, take three deep breaths and then lift their mask up.
Latimer’s favorite training day, he said, was demolitions day, when the recruits did explosives traning.
Military service is family affair for Adams County Christian School graduate Nathan Latimer. His father, grandfather, brother and great uncles served in the military.
“It seems that since just about every man on that side of the family has served, it’s almost an obligation, but it was an easy decision to make,” he said.
But Latimer admits that he also joined the military for a less poetic reason.
“I’ve always wanted to blow stuff up,” Latimer said. “Some kids when they were growing up wanted to be cowboys or the president, but I always wanted to just blow stuff up.”
Latimer will be one of several Miss-Lou veterans that will join NASCAR drivers and other celebrities for a “redneck retreat” in June hosted by Home with Heroes.
Home with Heroes was organized by local veteran and author Mark LaFrancis and “Redneck Adventures” TV show host Jim Bob Allgood. The foundation, LaFrancis said, is dedicated to honoring veterans and their loved ones with donated gifts and trips.
The foundation is also seeking to create a television show, and the program honoring Latimer and ceremonies for two other veterans will be used for the show’s pilot.
The foundation also hopes to create a Home with Heroes camp geared toward helping veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder.
“What we saw is the need to help veterans … is pretty strong,” LaFrancis said. “There are a lot of organizations helping, and they’re terrific, but we think there’s plenty room for additional helpers out there.”