HAUGHTON, La. (KTAL/KMSS) The town of Haughton has a new and unique way to honor veterans while recognizing the life of a local hero.
Haughton cut the ribbon to their new Veterans Therapy Health Garden and Walking Trail inside the Joe Delaney Park on Monday morning.
“We cannot give enough honor to the veterans. They have saved the country so many times,” said Martha McGee, Haughton alderwoman.
Town leaders, Bossier Parish officials and the USDA help get the park and trail funded.
“The USDA has really made a focus of trying to reach out to our nation’s veterans to show them and educate them that agriculture is perhaps a viable option for them if they’re coming back from active duty or looking for something to do on the side,” said Amy Fuselier, USDA NRSC public affairs.
Garden plots are designated for veterans to come together and connect with each other and the community while enjoying the benefits of nature.
Lieutenant Bill Davis with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office shared stories of his days serving in the NAVY and said walking trails like these are special.
“Anything a community can do to say thank you to their veterans is a big deal. Even the simplest of things. This is also going to be a place where folks can come who’ve served their country and just reflect,” Davis said.
The walking trail runs along the Joe Delaney Park which is named after the Haughton native star athlete who went on to play in the NFL. Delaney died tragically in 1983 when he jumped in to save three children from drowning in a pond in Monroe. He saved one child but died trying to save the others. His legacy lives on with his family.
“I think he would be humble because that’s the type of person he was. I think he’d be proud,” said Joanna Noel, Joe’s daughter.
“He would love anything that was going on for the community,” said Carolyn Delaney, Joe’s wife.
During the ceremony, a raffle was held for a 100-dollar prize and in a sweet moment of fate his daughter Crystal had the winning ticket.
The trail is not yet complete and like its garden it will continue to grow alongside the community.
The mayor said you can donate to the park fund at the town hall located at 118 W McKinley Ave in Haughton.