Inaugural Louisiana Veterans Charity Ball held

Darian Graivshark
Tradition where the oldest veteran and the youngest veteran cut a cake, which the oldest taking a bite first, then passing it to the youngest for a bite.

Veterans from Vietnam, Gulf War Desert Storm, and Afghanistan were present at the first Inaugural Veteran Charity Ball on Friday, May 17 at L'Auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge.

This first Charity Ball was a collective effort of thoughts and minds like Louisiana Women Veterans organization (LWV), Women Armed Forces Action Committee (WAFAC), Honor Flights Louisiana, and Women Veterans of America (WVA).

We need to pay honor to our veterans. We lose about 600 veterans a month, which means we are losing history every day,” Angella Lawrence, organizer of the Charity Ball, said.

Lawrence also created the WAFAC organization about two years ago. Lawrence felt there was no real network for women veterans, saw the gap, and created WAFAC so they could network and work together.

Blue star moms, which are mothers with children in uniform, were present at the event. There were no gold star moms, which are mothers of children who have made the ultimate sacrifice. However, a gold star mom donated a quilt that attendees could bid on during the silent auction.

There was a cake in the center of the dance floor before the ball kicked off completely. The cake was cut in honor of the oldest veteran and youngest veteran in the room. General Honoré represented the oldest veteran in the room, and Nathan Tallo was the youngest. The oldest vet took a bite of the cake first, then it was passed to the youngest vet.

Russel L. Honoré is a retired lieutenant general who served as the 33rd commanding general of the United States First Army at Fort Gillem, Georgia.

To live free is a privilege. If you were born into freedom, you were born into a blessing. It has been given to us by those who have preceded us. Even those children who cannot buy a beer by today’s standards. They pay the ultimate sacrifice and never come home for our freedom,” Honoré said.

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