Post 77 welcomes Pearl Harbor survivors, POWs

By Lisa Soileaux

Assistant Editor

During Tuesday’s meeting of Arceneaux Post 77, American Legion, on Dec. 7, an overflow crowd was in attendance when four special guests were honored. Due to the timing of the meeting held on the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, event survivors and World War II POW’s were paid special honors.

As announced by event chairman Leo Spaetgens, Walter Garber, Joe Richard, Wallace Stelly and James Bollich were acknowledged during the special event, also attended by a number of local and area veterans. They were also joined by family members for the program.

Navyman Richard is a Pearl Harbor survivor, Army Air Corpsman Garber was a POW for over a year, Stelly was a POW for five months as a member of the Army, and Army Air Corpsman Bollich was a POW for over three years.  Each was presented a special gift following a short speech.

Randy Vidrine, a retired Army command sergeant major, served as guest speaker for the evening, joined by District Commander Dallas Matte of Post 225 and Chairman Spaetgens, who also spoke of the veterans during the special ceremonies.

Also welcomed during the meeting were a number of guests, including Area C Commander Patrick Hebert of Post 15 in Crowley, Commander Jack Habetz of Post 15, Wallace Stelly of Post 209 in Washington, Ira Tate Sr., Commander Dallas Matte of Post 225 in Church Point, Acadia Parish VA Rep. Clyde Fuselier, Joseph F. Clinton of Post 225, Reivers Faul of Post 225, Yaset-Abdul Bellard of Post 225, Adjutant Nolan Monroe of Post 225, Sgt.-at-Arms Alton Huckaby of Post 225, John Richard of VFW Post 9903 in Church Point, Commander Albert Meche of VFW Post 9903, and Anthony R. Savoie of Post 225.

Vidrine also reminded everyone of the Veterans Action Coalition meeting to be held Wednesday, Dec. 15, at the Southside Library in Lafayette. All veterans, family members and interested citizens are urged to attend the 7 p.m. meeting.

With no further business conducted by Post 77 Commander Al Leger, the meeting was adjourned when Legionnaires and guests enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by the Legion cooks.

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