Local veterans group continues mission

Published 12:02am Monday, August 26, 2013

The Miss-Lou Veterans Committee has recently awarded a $4,400 veteran’s scholarship for the Febee Jackson Foundation at the Central Louisiana Technical Community College in Ferriday. This comes on the heels of another $5,500 to establish a veterans scholarship at Co-Lin Natchez earlier this spring. Funding for these scholarships is a result of the Miss-Lou Veterans Patriotic Tribute made up of displays and memorials of veterans of all wars including fire, emergency personnel and law enforcement who have lost their lives in the line of duty. We will continue our fundraising efforts so that both scholarships will ultimately become endowed.

We are continuing our mission to honor, remember and respect the men and women of our armed forces who have served and those who are currently serving to protect our freedoms. As veterans and supporters of veterans, we cannot and must not allow the sacrifices made by so many to be trivialized in any respect. The families of our brothers and sisters who have made the ultimate sacrifice appreciate our efforts to lift our comrades up at every opportunity. It is our honor to be of service to our local veterans and our communities, free from personal gain or accolades for any organization or person in particular.

We also have partially funded our Miss-Lou Veterans Honor Guard. The question has been asked, “Do we need an Honor Guard in the Miss-Lou?” The answer is a resounding “YES.” The almost total consensus is that a highly trained, professional Honor Guard for our area would be a sorely needed focal point for our entire community. We are not simply just another marching unit. In fact, a marching unit comes far behind our main function, which is to give our final salute to our deceased veterans and to conduct military funerals, post or present our national colors at civic events and conventions, teach our community and our young people in schools and churches proper respect and handling of our national symbol, and to foster patriotism and Americanism in our communities. Participation in Memorial Day services and Veterans Day is also of primary importance to us. Too often, families and our communities are not aware that these services are available to them at no cost. All field grade and general officers in the military who we have encountered encourage the organization of local Honor Guards as all branches of the military have been impacted by budget cuts and sequestration. They need our help! What we can provide is everything necessary to conduct a military funeral to include flag folding and presentation of the flag to the next of kin, a rifle team for a rifle salute, and a bugler to sound Taps. In the event that a veteran’s branch of service is part of the funeral, we can and will support them.

As we continue on our mission of service to our veterans and our community, we will do so as a non-profit organization partnering with American Legion Post No. 4, Natchez. Our Miss-Lou Veterans Coalition Board is grateful to Col. John Curran and the post membership for their support of our Honor Guard.

 

Douglas McCallister

Natchez resident