It was the first time LSU Shreveport’s Student Veterans have put on their own Veterans Day ceremony, and all seats were taken. A standing crowd of students and community members filled in the area around a tent under the flag at the center of campus Friday morning.
“Veteran’s Day, it’s not about a program, it’s not about politics, it’s simply about the people,” says Lt. Bill Davis. Davis, the guest speaker for the ceremony, is currently a deputy with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, and served nearly 21 years in the U.S. Navy as a journalist and public affairs officer.
Davis brought friends, 4 World War II Veterans in their 90s.
“They may be frail, their bodies may be worn out, but these are men and women at an early age who said, ‘I’ll go serve my country’, and they’ve got some amazing stories, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Mary Melson served 20 months in the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), the women’s branch of the U.S. Naval Reserve.
“I was trained as a link trainer/instructor, which was to teach the pilots because they didn’t have all this fancy equipment you have now,” says Melton.
Melton met her husband, a pilot, during her service.
As the ceremony came to a close all in attendance formed a line to shake the hands and give hugs to the honored guests. All branches of the military were honored during the ceremony, including attendees from all conflicts dating back to WWII.
“Well i’m glad we’re still here, to be able to let people know we were there, and what a different time it was back in the 30s and 40s,” says Melton.