B&B Round Table Discussion: A rising tide floats all boats

Bed and Breakfast Roundtable 2018

The Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce held a Bed and Breakfast Owner’s Round Table Discussion Forum May 30. Topics of discussion included marketing efforts, tourism, sustainability, and regulations. Bed and Breakfast owners were joined by Chamber President Liz Juffin and a panel of community leaders including Tourist Office Executive Director Arlene Gould, Mayor Lee Posey, Tourist Commission Chair and Sharpco Hotels Group Representative Lauryn Sharplin, and LA Bed and Breakfast Association board members Sherry Gomez and Janice Delerno.

One thing the Bed and Breakfast owners share concern over is the amount of things there are to do for their guests on Sundays. They said the lack of businesses that are open on Sundays impacts their chance at having repeat customers.

Posey said he was a retailer for 36 years and tried talking to some of the downtown business owners about running a skeleton crew on days when they’re usually closed. One B&B owner suggested a rotation plan, so there’s always be a few stores open each weekend. Posey said that would be a good step in the right direction.

The Tourist Office no longer opens on Sundays due to budget cuts. It does however leave brochures and maps on a table outside its office when it’s closed. One owner asked if it could plan to be open for major holidays.

Juffin said business owners are informed when large convention groups come into town in case they’d like to adjust their hours to take advantage of the increased traffic in their stores.

A pair of restaurant and B&B owners said after deciding to open their restaurant on Sundays, it’s been almost consistently as good as their Friday or Saturday nights.

Another concern is that B&B owners have been told by their guests that when they first contact the Tourist Office for accommodation information they’re told about Natchitoches’ new hotel first. “We just want a little change in the script,” he said.

Speaking of the new hotel, B&B owners are concerned that when some searches online for “Bed and Breakfasts in Natchitoches” the Chateau St. Denis is the first link in the results. The link to the boutique hotel states, “Historic Natchitoches – A Bed & Breakfast Lovers Dream.”

“It’s false advertisement,” said one B&B owner. “All our B&Bs have dropped a third in income,” said another owner.

Yet another concern was the fact that the Chateau St. Denis doesn’t charge sales tax on a $9.95 add-on fee on top of its nightly room rate. Posey said the City is getting an Attorney General opinion on the matter.

“I don’t think it’s fair personally,” he said.

Delerno said the problem seems to be that the market has become spread so thin it’s hard for everyone to make money. B&B owners have had to deep discount their rooms and go through discount sites to fill their occupancy. These sites take a cut off the top of the already discounted rate. Owners are upping their occupancy to keep their revenue.

Sharplin shared that hotels along I-49 are in the same boat as the B&Bs. The occupancy can be great, but with rates dropping, the revenue isn’t showing.

Delerno suggested the B&Bs work collectively to find ways to offer events to entertain tourists. “Everyone in the state sees Natchitoches as a bed and breakfast destination. A rising tide floats all boats,” she said.

BedandBreakfast Search on Google

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Wound Care Center staff accepts proclamation declaring June 4-8 Wound Care Awareness Week

Wound Care Center_1842

Chronic wounds cost lives and $50 billion annually. It’s estimated that 6.7 million people currently live with chronic wounds and the rate is expected to increase, at more than 2 percent per year over the next decade. Natchitoches Regional Medical Center’s Comprehensive Wound Care Center opened in April 2015 to provide advanced wound care interventions to our community.

“If you save a limb, you save a life,” said Frank Aviles, Wound Care Service Line Director for Natchitoches Regional Medical Center (NRMC) “Our goal is to prevent amputations by educating and providing our patients with advanced wound care interventions.”

With a 5-year relative mortality rate higher than 50% for anyone with an amputation due to diabetes, it is important to bring wound care awareness to wound care and inform people that there are excellent treatment options available right here in Natchitoches at NRMC.

Mr. Aviles and Jamie Fontana, Program Director for the NRMC Wound Care Center, traveled to Baton Rouge May 8 to accept a proclamation declaring June 4-8 as Wound Care Awareness Week throughout Louisiana.

The increasing number of patients with chronic wounds is fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions. Untreated chronic wounds can lead to diminished quality of life and possibly amputation of the affected limb. Over 9.4% of the US population has diabetes, and almost 2 million will develop a diabetic foot ulcer or other non-healing wound.

“Creating a Wound Care Awareness Week is important because there’s new treatment and Natchitoches is on the cutting edge of it,” said State Representative Kenny Cox. “The hyperbaric chambers they use help patients heal, especially those with diabetes who get wounds that are hard to treat. Setting aside this week will bring attention to Wound Care Centers across the state and give them credit for what they’ve accomplished.”

According to statistics, residents in Natchitoches and surrounding parishes were likely to lose a limb due to lack of resources; complications from diabetes, infection, and longstanding wounds. The NRMC Wound Care Center has been able to provide resources and expertise to minimize amputations and increase quality of life for those living with chronic wounds.

“People are surprised that we have a multiple hyperbaric chambers in Natchitoches,” said Fontana. “Before the Center, patients had to drive at least an hour daily for treatment, but now we have a state of the art facility and the expertise to help patients here in Natchitoches.” The Wound Center is very easy to access and patients themselves can call to set up an appointment.

Some of the indications for wound therapy include:

Chronic wounds not making progress
Diabetic ulcers
Neuropathic ulcers
Ischemic ulcers
Venous insufficiency
Radiation burns
Radiation cystitis
Failing flaps or grafts
Surgical wounds
Vasculitis
Burns
Peristomal skin irritations
Osteoradionecrosis
Pressure ulcers

In the small amount of time the NRMC Wound Care Center in Natchitoches has been open, our staff has been published in medical magazines, recognized nationally, and received numerous awards. Our center in 2017 was ranked in the top 3% in quality out of the approximately 800 centers nationwide that operate under the Healogics Management System. Our Center was recognized by Healogics in 2016 for being in the top 5% nationally for quality.

Ten physicians and many passionate nurses genuinely care for local each patient that comes to see us. We have seen patients travel from out of town seeking our assistance in managing their chronic wounds. What’s more, the Center has a national support network through Healogics, which gives them access to a plethora of resources.

“As a team, we go above and beyond to make sure our patients get the help they need. That’s what sets our center apart” said Aviles.

Wound Care Center-GovEdwards

Police roll out task force to increase street patrol

NPD-Task Force.png

The beginning of summertime routinely brings about a higher number of calls for service to the Natchitoches Police Department. As the school year ends, daylight hours increase, and temperatures and heat indexes begin to soar. There seems to be a correlation between the increase in temperature and the increase in certain crimes that’s often noticed.

This year is no exception. Since Jan. 1 the NPD has received more than 80 Illegal Use of Weapons calls. This occurs when a gun is shot into the air with no regard for where the bullets may come down. Stopping these wanton criminal acts has been a challenge because an officer is not always immediately present to address it.

The police department has also responded to more than 100 auto burglaries so far this year and although these numbers are not really out of the norm, it is far more than the City should be experiencing.

In order to combat such activity, the NPD is reinstating the ASP Team (Additional Street Patrol). This specialized, albeit temporary, unit will be rolling simultaneously with day to day police operations. Both divisions will serve a dual roll – a stronger police presence acting as a deterrent and of course, APPREHENSION.

These issues as well as those listed below are some of the offenses a task force will be addressing:

Locations of recent burglaries

Discharging firearms within the city limits

Juvenile curfew violations

Loud music complaints

Alcohol complaints such as drinking in public parks

Serving active bench warrants

Traffic enforcement {Emphasis on Texting While Driving}

Grass Clippings in the Street

Summit ObGyn of Natchitoches: Break Free from heavy periods

NPJ-DR O

Get lasting relief from heavy periods caused by abnormal uterine bleeding

Her Option® is a safe and effective treatment that uses sub-zero temperatures to destroy the tissue lining the uterus (endometrium).

It is this tissue that sheds during your period that causes bleeding. By destroying most or all of this lining, your periods will be reduced or eliminatd.

Is your menstrual bleeding excessive?
Bleeding that soaks through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several consecutive hours.
Bleeding so heavy you need to double up on sanitary protection. Bleeding that causes you to change protection during the night. A period lasting longer than seven days.

Menstual flow containing large blood clots.

Heavy periods that interfere with your regular lifestyle
(i.e. physical activities, sexual intimacy, career, recreation, self-confidence)

Constant pain in your lower abdomen during your period. Severe cramps or headaches during your period.

Irregular periods.

Tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath (symptoms of anemia). Depression or moodiness during your period.

If you’ve experienced one or more of these symptoms, your heavy periods could be the result of a condition called abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) or Menorrhagia.
You do not need to live with heavy periods and the limitations associated with AUB.

Moshood Olatinwo, M.D.
617 Bienville Street, Suite A
Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457
318-352-1108

www.summitobgynofnatchitoches.net

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Dr. Tommy Hailey speaks to Rotary Club

Tommy haley Rotary Club2018.jpg

Northwestern State University (NSU) Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Cultural Resource Center at NSU Dr. Tommy Hailey was the speaker at the Natchitoches Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, May 29. His program was titled, Lucy Fortner’s “Southern Boy in Northern Blue.” It centered on family folklore versus historical reality. He noted that throughout history people have used verbal information versus checking actual historical records. He also said that historical records can be misleading, and in some cases inaccurate. His story was about John Elisha Fortner who was a Louisiana boy who joined and fought for the Union Army. He noted that many Louisiana boys joined and fought for the Union Army.

Dr. Hailey entertained the club with an original song he wrote and sang relating to this story (Photos by Dr. Ron McBride).

Tommy haley - Rotary club

Suspicious vehicle complaint leads to felony narcotics arrest near Readhimer

Jerry Jordan

A suspicious vehicle complaint near Readhimer led to the arrest of a Natchitoches man on felony narcotics charges according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

NPSO Patrol Division deputies responded to reports May 30 at 3 am of a suspicious tan-colored Lincoln Navigator parked in the middle of La. Hwy 9 near the Readhimer community with no headlamps on.

Deputies arrived on scene locating the vehicle off of the roadway pulled into an abandoned residence driveway.

An occupant of the vehicle was identified as Joey Wayne Jordan, 43 of Natchitoches.

Deputies say while speaking with Jordan he stated that he and a friend were traveling to the Calvin Tyler Road when they ran out of gas.

Deputies say Jordan was very uneasy, stuttering and shaking while they were speaking with him leading them to believe criminal activity existed.

Deputies observed suspected crystal methamphetamine in plain view while Jordan was gathering the vehicle registration information.

Deputies conducted a search of the vehicle, seizing suspected crystal methamphetamine and a syringe commonly used to inject illicit narcotics.

Joey W. Jordan, 43 of the 1400 block of Grayson Street in Natchitoches, was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and charged with Possession of Crystal Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Jordan remains in the Natchitoches Detention Center awaiting bond.

The seized evidence will submitted to the crime lab for narcotics analysis.

The vehicle was impounded.

Deputy M. Giamonne and Sgt. J. Augustus made the arrest.

“See Something Suspicious-Report It to Law Enforcement”

Discounts at Natural Springs’ Customer Appreciation Celebration are unbe-leaf-able

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Natural Spring Garden Center and Nursery will express its thanks to all its loyal customer over the years with a 13th Anniversary Customer Appreciation Celebration Friday-Sunday, June 1-3 with up to 40% off select plants and merchandise.

The sale will run Friday from 8:30 am – 7 pm, Saturday from 8:30 am – 4 pm and Sunday from 12-4 pm. This Sunday, June 3, will be the last Sunday the Center is open for the season.

Remember products grown at Natural Springs (about 90 percent of its inventory) are not subject to sales tax.

There’s also a “do it yourself” potting bench. Bring a pot, plant what you purchase on-site and leave the mess at Natural Springs. Owners Corkey Bruce and Mace Morris, or one of their staff, are always happy to assist with potting. They even have the soil you’ll need.

“We strive to make our customers successful in their gardening efforts,” said Corkey.

Originally a landscape/lawn service, Natural Springs’ Garden Center was born from a need for inventory.

The Center is pet friendly (on-leash), providing a drinking station. They’re also known to have water guns on hand to make visits a much cooler experience for the kids.

“We don’t want a bunch of customers,” said Mace. “We want a bunch of friends.”

Regular business hours are Mondays-Fridays from 8:30 am – 5 pm and Saturdays from 8:30 am – 4 pm. If the gates are open, customers are welcome to come in or call for an appointment. Ring the big bell for service.

Follow Natural Springs Garden Center, located at 4243 University Parkway, on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/naturalsprings/) for videos and other information.

Library Summer Reading Launch Party in City Park

Summer Reading Program Kickoff

The Natchitoches Parish Library (NPL) is ramping up for its annual Summer Reading Programs for children, teens, and adults. This year’s theme is “Libraries Rock!” and the NPL will be having a launch party appropriate of such a title in City Park on Thursday, May 31, from 2-6pm.

The headliner for the kickoff celebrations will be percussionist Lady Chops with shows at 2pm and 5pm. There will also be a bounce house, several activity stations, plinko, face painting, popcorn, and prizes!

The Northeast Branch(NEB) will also host a Sumer Reading Kick-Off on June 4, from 10am-5:30pm.

The reading portion of the program, in which all ages can earn prizes, officially lasts from June 1 until August 10, however patrons can register early online, beginning May 24 at natlib.org. This year, reading will be tracked with bookmark reading logs that can be returned to the library to receive a weekly prize as well as an entry into the grand prize drawing! There is no limit to the number of bookmarks you may turn in; however, you may only collect six of the weekly prizes during the entirety of the program.

The children’s performances will again be held at each branch location this year. Main Branch performances are Wednesdays at 10am and 2pm, and Thursdays at 10am, beginning June 6. NEB performances will be held at City of Refuge Church in Campti on Thursdays at 2pm.

For more information about the upcoming Summer reading program, visit natlib.org, or the Natchitoches Parish Library Facebook page.

When Three Mysterious Strangers Crashed the Genealogy Association’s Pot-Luck Dinner

Darby-NGH 2018

Members of the Natchitoches Genealogical and Historical Association were happily settling in to their annual pot-luck dinner last week, hungrily eyeing the mouth watering selections of meats, casseroles, salads and desserts, when three mysterious strangers burst into the room at the Old Courthouse Building..

One was obviously a priest, though his cassock was quite old fashioned. Another wore an ancient red coat and a straw hat and the third was clad in a heavy white coat with a tricorn hat. NGHA President Billie Gibson (who was in on the plot) gave them permission to address the group, while the members ate.

The men introduced themselves and the audience learned that they were Father Jean Delvaux, Natchitoches Spanish Commandant Louis DeBlanc and none other than Colonial Gov. Baron Carondolet himself.

In no time Delvaux and DeBlanc were arguing like two school boys, with the governor fighting a losing battle in trying to keep the peace. In between the spats, the men — each from his own viewpoint — explained to the group what had happened when Delvaux led a “mini-revolt” against DeBlanc here in 1795. Folks were beaten, DeBlanc’s house was attacked and other nefarious actions took place.

I wrote about the incident in a column last fall, but these three men, whether alighting from some time machine or what, I don’t know, took it upon themselves to try to persuade the NGHA members that his viewpoint was the correct one.

Delvaux stopped at nothing in trying to humiliate DeBlanc during the discussion. At one point DeBlanc was about to explain how friends of his were attacked after leaving a party at his house but he got distracted by the memory of a young French girl named Marie, with whom he had danced at the soiree. Dellvaux embarrassed DeBlanc by grabbing his sleeve and openly asking him if he needed to go to confession, in connection with any thing that may have happened with the lovely Marie.

“Unhand me, you scoundrel,” was DeBlanc’s response. “I wouldn’t confess my least sin to you.”

In the end, Delvaux was exiled from the Louisiana colony and Carondelet transferred DeBlanc to St. Martinville in the Bayou Teche country.

Well, okay, all right. Those guys didn’t hop out of any time machine to make their case to the NGHA members. Yeah, yeah. It was me and my friends Dustin Fuqua and Tommy Adkins. I was DeBlanc, an actual ancestor of mine, Dusty was the priest and Tommy was the governor.

All three of us are avid Louisiana history buffs and we had loads of fun putting on the skit. We had even had time to meet for a quick beer at the Pub before we went to the Old Courthouse That would have been apt because Delvaux was known to be a lover of liquid refreshment, often going down to the river front near what’s now Front Street, chugging brandy and singing French revolutionary songs with his gang, called Les Revenants,, or the Ghosts.

I want to announce publicly that I am awarding Dusty a new theatrical award named a “Louie,” in honor of the Natchitoches founder Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, for the best performance by an actor at a pot-luck dinner of the NGHA. His animated portrayal of the priest kept the audience laughing.

I told him he should be proud. It’s a rare honor. After all, has such a great actor as Tom Hanks, for example, ever won a Louie? Of course not. And I don’t expect he ever will, either.

Notice of Death – May 30, 2018

Notice of Death 2017

NATCHITOCHES PARISH:

Elder Nathaniel “Tobe” McGaskey, Sr.
Service: Saturday, June 2 at 11am Antioch Primitive Baptist Church – Vowells Mill
Interment:  Antioch Garden of Memories Cemeter

Joy Mitchell Parker
December 19, 1940 – May 28, 2018
Visitation: Thursday, May 31 from 9-10 am at Laurel Heights Baptist Church
Service: Thursday, May 31 at 10 am at Laurel Heights Baptist Church
Interment: Mt. Zion Cemetary near Wheeling

RAPIDES PARISH:

Paul Damian Monsour
January 6, 1964 – May 28, 2018
Service held May 30

RED RIVER PARISH:

Jewery Whitaker
Visitation: Friday, May 25 from 6-7 pm at New Friendship Baptist Church
Service: Saturday, May 26 at 11 am at New Friendship Baptist Church

Margaret Jackson
Visitation: Friday, June 1 from 1-6 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, June 2 at 2 pm at Springville Baptist Church

Jaden Thomas
Visitation: Friday, June 1 from 1-6 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, June 2 at 12 pm at New Hope No. 1 Baptist Church

Pastor Johnny Taylor
Visitation: Friday, June 1 from 1-6 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, June 2 at 11 am at Deliverance Temple

Herbert Jackson
Visitation: Friday, June 1 from 1-6 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, June 2 at 11 am at New Hope Baptist Church Cemetery

Evone Garner
Visitation: Friday, June 1 from 1-5 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, June 2 at 2 pm at New Jerusalem Baptist Church

Charley Thomas
Visitation: Friday, June 1 from 7-8 pm at New Hope Baptist Church in Lake End
Service: Saturday, June 2 at 2 pm at Red River Church of God in Christ

City Council holds brief meeting Tuesday night

City-Council

While the City Council meeting May 29 was brief, one item should spark some interest amongst the community. The Council approved a cooperative endeavor agreement with Northwestern State University and the NSU Foundation to provide for construction of a nature/biking trail on grounds owned by NSU that are located din proximity to the proposed recreation and sports park.

NSU owns the 100 acre tract on the Southwest corner of the Hwy. 6 and Hwy. 3110 intersection. This land is a biologically diverse site that includes old growth pine trees on rolling hills and a cypress bottom located along Young’s Bayou. It’s also the location of an archeological site and has an artesian well and other small bodies of water.

It’s located a quarter mile from property recently acquired by the City for the recreation and sports park development. NSU owns additional property between its 100 acre tract and the City’s tract, which would allow for the two pieces of land to be connected in the future. Plans for the City Complex include a walking trail around the perimeter, which can be used for cross country and biking events and competitions. The walking trail on NSU’s land will be designed in a manner to allow for its future connection to the trail system proposed for the City Complex.

NSU received a proposal for the design and construction of the trail from Nevada Thomason for $39,600, plus certain expenses. NSU Foundation agreed to contribute $10,000 to the project and the City agreed to contribute $15,000. NSU will contribute the balance of the funds necessary to complete the project.

NSU agreed to make the walking trails available for use by the public. NSU and the City will cooperate in the future to provide for the connection of the trail systems and to allow the use of the trail systems as a single trail system for use by citizens and NSU faculty, staff and students.

PLANNING & ZONING – INTRODUCTION:
Change Zoning Classification Of Property (128 A&B South Dr.) from B-2 Commercial to B-3 Commercial to operate a veterinary clinic

ORDINANCE – FINAL:

Amend The 2017-2018 Budget To Reflect Additional Revenues And Expenditures.

RESOLUTIONS:

Advertise And Accept Bids To Seal Coat Runway 7-25 At The Natchitoches Regional Airport (Bid No. 0609)

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The next scheduled City Council meeting will be June 11, 2018.

 

Water aerobics class begins June 5

water-aerobics

 

A water aerobics class will be offered by Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education beginning Tuesday, June 5.

Three sessions will be held this summer with session one on June 5-28, session two on July 3-31 and session three on Aug. 1-16.

The class will be taught from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Robert Wilson Recreation Complex. The fee is $45 for the June and July sessions and $22.50 for the August session.

Water aerobics is a workout that consists of simple low-impact exercises executed in the water. The program is designed to promote and maintain cardio-respiratory fitness, strengthen muscles and improve flexibility. The program is especially recommended for arthritic and/or pregnant women.

For more information, call (318) 357-6355, (800) 376-2422 or go to nsula.edu/ece/non-credit-programs.

Verbose Veteran

By Reba Phelps

Reba

While my family is known to be open and honest about every minor detail there’s some things we never discussed growing up. Some things were just never questioned. We knew our family history.

Reflecting back I can’t distinguish if we were too busy being children or if we had a gut feeling telling us not to go there. Whatever the case, we never asked my father about his Vietnam War experience.

While my father was a proud member of the US Navy and a Veteran of the Vietnam War he absolutely never spoke of it.

He was a very quiet Veteran. He had all the memorabilia. He had the military id card. He had the yearbook with all of his peer’s photos. He had the basic stories of where he was stationed and how long he stayed on the ship. He could go through the yearbook and pick out his closest friends. My dad even had jokes about his military stay.

When he was in a bad mood or feeling impatient he would say, “my agent orange is acting up today.” We always laughed.

We never bothered to delve deeper into his military actions until my oldest daughter decided she needed more details and my lack of knowledge was completely unacceptable.

One weekend we met for a family lunch, which started like many others. A few text messages exchanged with family to see if anyone had lunch plans. A few more text messages debating the cuisine and location. Once settled, our clan descended upon a Natchitoches restaurant.

Shortly after ordering drinks and appetizers we exchanged a few pleasantries my daughter dropped a Texas size bomb and brought the whole table (and half the restaurant) to a screeching halt. She said, “So Pappaw, how many people did you have to kill while you were in Vietnam?”

The silence was deafening. You could have heard a pin drop. It seemed as though the tables around us paused and the waitresses waited to see what happened. Our whole table, including my new stepmom, stopped visiting and looked at me. Being the child’s parent I was about to plunge into rescue and education mode. I planned on apologizing for her outburst and discussing the proper etiquette of addressing a Veteran and their memoirs.

Before I could, my father replied, “It was so many I couldn’t keep up with it.”

Obviously he was being humorous, but after he broke the ice, he was like a fountain overflowing. He began by telling us about the recruiting process. He wasn’t sure they’d accept him because he lost most of the sight in his right eye after a childhood infection.

Growing up he had many role models who joined the military. Every single one of his brothers served in a branch.

While assigned to a communication ship, he had to sleep with his leg wrapped around the chains anchoring the beds to the wall because when they hit large waves they would fall out of the bed onto the steel floor.

When he arrived in Vietnam they were nearing a shore where a battle was taking place and he could feel the gunshot vibrations on the ship. A jet flew over them that had been struck and he still remembers what the heat felt like from that moment.

He shared that his deployment was for Westpac and Vietnam.

While we hung on every word that was finally coming forth from the silent man we lived with, our hearts were broken for him. He explained that when he and the others returned home there were no hero’s welcomes. They were treated so poorly and were mostly met with protesters.

He did go on to share that it touches his soul to see our Troops being so loved and welcomed when they come home. He can rarely watch it on TV without shedding a tear.

Meredith’s seemingly inappropriate question opened the door for many conversations with my father that included the name of the two ships he traveled on and many other details that make up the beauty and history of his time served in the US Navy. Recently I located the information on the two ships and shared it with him. It brought back a multitude of memories and I think just enough time has passed where he can truly reflect on his experience and appreciate that God spared his life during that time and enabled him to come back home to continue the journey that created a whole family.

My father’s birthday is May 30 and it always falls around Memorial Day. Every birthday that roles around for him is a complete blessing and a reminder of the military men and women who so willingly gave their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have.

“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; My Lovingkindness and my fortress, My stronghold and my deliverer, My shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me”

Psalm 144:1-2