October 16, 2018

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Thanks to Veterans Who Have Given So Much

Brittany Magee, Dawn Wharton, Laura Muller, Latricia Holloway, and Daneel May members of the Aktion Club of Camellia City were on a mission that required a lot of action in a short time. They set three goals to accomplish their mission, which was to give THANKS and show their gratitude and appreciation to Veterans for their service by GIVING something to them. Veterans have sacrificed a lot so that all Americans can enjoy the freedom and privileges that we sometimes take for granted. They wanted to make their efforts collaborative, so they enlisted the help of Pat Dempsey, Commander of VFW Post 8290 and Laurie Carroll, President Auxiliary Post 8290 in Lacombe to help. Also part of their group were Mel Carter, STARC Adviser and Wanda Farbe, Jr. VP Auxiliary Post 8290/ District Auxiliary Sr. VP/ State Auxiliary Legislative Chairperson and Camellia City Kiwanis adviser to Aktion Club. This is how they put their plan into “AKTION”.

vet art pic 1On the morning of Monday, November 23rd the group gathered at the Lacombe home of Robert and Judy Chesnut. Mr. Chesnut served in the Navy during WWII and the Korean Wars.  He gave the group a brief, close up and personal look at the war through his eyes. He enlisted when he was only seventeen years old. He spent boot camp in San Diego. After, he was transferred to the war in the Pacific, where he fought and served in the amphibious division. This was in 1945. He said he recalled hearing “Tokyo Rose” broadcasting propaganda on the radio saying the US and its Allies would lose the war.  He said he also remembered when the US dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ended the war in the Pacific. He served on the USS LSM 420 and USS Mount Olympus (AGC 8). He received many medals and commendations. Some of them included the Victory Ribbon, Good Conduct Medals, authorized to wear a Bronze Stud in lieu of the Good Conduct Award for service ending 24 July 1962, and the Navy Occupation Service Medal with “Asia Clap” to name a few.

After serving 20 years, he retired from the Navy in 1946. He married his first wife and had two children. They were married over 44½ years.  After a series of dead end jobs, he re-enlisted in the Navy until 1974, when he retired again. He then worked for the St. Bernard Police Department for five years.
Next he worked as director of security at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for two years, until his first wife suffered a stroke.  He resigned to take care of her. She passed away about a year and a half later. About a year and a half after he met, then subsequently married Judy, his second wife. Judy had three children from her previous marriage however, they have no children together. They have been married for over 20 years. The group presented Mr. and Mrs. Chesnut with a Thanksgiving Basket and a gift certificate. Mr. Chesnut is a member of VFW Post 8290 and his wife is a member of its Auxiliary.vet art pic 2

Next they went to the Lacombe Nursing Centre and met with Jessica Batiste, Lacombe Nursing Centre Social Services Director, and presented her with Christmas cards to be given to the eleven Veterans residing at the facility.
Last but not least on their mission was to visit the SELA Veterans Outpatient Clinic in Slidell.  There they presented Richard Breaux, Clinic Mgr. with Christmas cards to be given to the veterans, who are patients at the clinic. With the mission a success, the group left Ms. Farbe to complete her day at the clinic. She volunteers there as the front desk receptionist.vet art pic 3

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