Friday, May 17 2013 9:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:05:04 GMT
The Southwest Louisiana Tea Party movement began picking up steam in 2009 as members from throughout the five parish area began gathering for rallies and becoming more visible and involved in local governmentMore >>
The Southwest Louisiana Tea Party movement began picking up steam in 2009 as members from throughout the five-parish area began gathering for rallies and becoming more visible and involved in local government and the political scene.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:55:58 GMT
An arrest has been made in the 1962 death of Mary Horton Vail. Vail was found dead in the Calcasieu River in October 1962, her husband, Felix Vail, claimed she was the victim of a boating accident. TheMore >>
Mary Horton Vail was found dead in the Calcasieu River in October 1962. Her husband, Felix Vail, claimed she was the victim of a boating accident.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 6:17 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:17:04 GMT
Friday marks the anniversary of the first woman reported missing in the Jeff Davis Eight case. On May 17, 2005, 28-year-old Loretta Chaisson Lewis went missing. Three days later, her body was found floatingMore >>
Friday marks the anniversary of the first woman reported missing in the Jeff Davis Eight case.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 5:47 PM EDT2013-05-17 21:47:38 GMT
More than 825 students - the largest graduating class in McNeese State University history - are expected to receive degrees at the university's spring commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18,More >>
More than 825 students - the largest graduating class in McNeese State University history - are expected to receive degrees at the university's spring commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday at Burton Coliseum.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 5:44 PM EDT2013-05-17 21:44:31 GMT
In an area prone to hurricanes, flood insurance is important for Louisiana residents. Calcasieu Parish became a part of the National Flood Insurance program in 1978. By participating in the program,More >>
As a way to continue offering flood insurance, Congress passed the Biggert Waters Act in 2012. More >>
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Get local news, weather, sports, and video on your mobile device.More >>
Ken Swiatowicz is one of 23 veterans of World War II from the ArkLaTex who are traveling this week to Washington DC to visit war memorials and monuments. The trip is sponsored by Brookshires.
Just like most of the teenagers in the early 1940's, Ken Swiatowicz knew his time would come to serve his country.
They only choice he had was his branch of service.
"The Army will take anybody. The Navy is a little better. I said I want the Marine Corps, recalled Swiatowicz. "They said well we're sorry and then a few minutes later and said. they'll (Marines)accept you."
So off he went. Marine Private First Class Swiatowicz was shipped off to one of the most dangerous battles in the Pacific: Iwo Jima. On Japanese territory, it was the only U.S. Marine battle where American casualties were more than the enemy.
Swiatoticz didn't have a clue what to expect, but he learned quickly when he stepped foot on the island's beach front and looked up into the sky.
"An airplane it's horrible got shot out of the sky completely blew up. I presume it was one of our planes. That's a heck of a sight to see. At least two or three people ... then you knew reality was there, said Swiatowicz.
That was his first taste of battle. He would soon find himself in the trenches under heavy fire from the Japanese.
"They shoot the big heavy artillery stuff and the flame throwing guys and the machine guns. That's who they knock out first."
Less than one day into combat, PFC Swiatowicz was hit.
"The rifle is in front of ya and he wasn't aiming for my head. I mean he wasn't aiming for my arm because he hit me in my right arm."
Swiatowicz was wounded and had only one choice to make ...
"If he missed me at first, he'll change his sighting a little bit and he'll surely get me so I picked up my rifle and ran hard back to the beach," said Swiatowicz. "Next day or so I was up and around and they say 'oh you got a ticket home' and I said what do you mean. He said 'yeah you're gonna go home now'".
Swiatowicz did get a chance to see the famous image of marines raising the American flag at Mount Suribachi, and after a tenacious fight, the japanese were eventually defeated.
But the last sight that Swiatowicz witnessed at Iwo Jima still haunts him to this day.
"As far as just killing people and innocent people getting bombed it never set right with me at all, said Swiatowicz. "It actually bothered me but there was nothing i could do about it cause i was part of it. It was a sad thing that had to be done."
WWII veteran remembers: 'It was a sad thing that had to be done'More>>