LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - This week, Governor Bobby Jindal gave out medals to 426 veterans from Calcasieu Parish-- all recipients of the Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal.
Hundreds of veterans gathered at VFW Post 2130 this week where they received Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal-- to show the state's appreciation for their service and sacrifice. One of those veterans was Bob Hart-- who at the age of 19 answered the call to serve and joined the United States Marines. "I'd do it again if I had to. That's just what you're supposed to do. This is our country."
Hart suffered machine gun wounds in his right leg and just recently discovered he still has a chunk of metal in his lung from combat injuries." I was crawling up, they threw a grenade at me and blew me up, wrapped me around a pine tree."
For him, the real heroes are those who didn't make it home. "I don't consider myself any type of hero. To me the heroes are ones we left there who didn't come back."
Still, his wife Wann, along with citizens throughout the state, are proud of him and other veterans. She says, "Anybody in the military needs to be recognized in some form or fashion because they've all had to sacrifice"
The award means a lot to hart and the others. "I was proud beyond belief. I just didn't know how to act. I think about all of my buddies that didn't come back. They were good friends. You don't ever forget."
The Louisiana Veterans' Honor Medal is to recognize and honor all of the state's veterans. The program is managed by the State Department of Veterans Affairs.