Rhodes Properties and Development and Rhodes Realty fed Veterans at Raising Cane’s in Natchitoches on Nov. 11 to show their appreciation for all the men and women who’ve served their country, or are still serving it today.
“I’m thrilled that I get to be a part of giving back to these Veterans,” said Rhodes Realty COO Mario Fox. “It’s something that we do that’s near and dear to my heart.”
Rhodes and Raising Cane’s have teamed up before to feed first responders, but this was the first time they’ve held an event for Veterans Day.
“One of the things we love to do is take care of the community and be involved,” said Natchitoches Raising Cane’s Store Manager Kelli Brazzel. “It’s an opportunity for us to help Rhodes take care of Veterans.”
Two of the many Veterans that sat down to enjoy a meal were Richard Hooter and Vallerie Minchew.
“Veteran’s Day is important because everybody has freedoms and the people who provide these freedoms are the Veterans and those still on active duty,” said Hooter. “It’s important to us to see the community recognize that. We don’t want to be forgotten.”
Hooter is a Vietnam Veteran. The soldiers who came home from this war went unrecognized when they returned home. Hooter served his country for 20 years. The first two were as an enlisted soldier in the Army. He then finished a degree at Northwestern State University before being commissioned by the NSU ROTC Department as a Second Lieutenant in the Army.
There was a very small number of women on active duty when Minchew served. She worked in communications for the Air Force for 13-and-a-half years, also serving in Desert Storm.
“I appreciate the recognition,” she said. “It wasn’t until I came to Natchitoches and got my job as a Veterans Representative at the unemployment office that I really realized I was a Veteran. I thought because I wasn’t in combat, I didn’t get to be considered a Vet.”
Minchew assists Veterans in six parishes as part of her job at the Louisiana Workforce Commission. She also serves on the Veterans Memorial Park Committee.