Iota celebrates Veteran's Day by honoring hometown World War II - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Iota celebrates Veterans Day by honoring WWII veterans

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IOTA, LA (KPLC) -

Iota ... the Acadia Parish town coined by the slogan, "the little town with a big heart," celebrated Veterans Day on Sunday by honoring the town's own World War II veterans. 

"They are a part of our greatest generation," said retired Army service member, John Semmes. "They are in fact, or were in fact, the point of the sphere of America's war effort."

A point of responsibility not taken lightly and not honored without full pomp and circumstance. As the Iota Police Department and the Iota Advanced Band led their hometown heroes through town, the veterans said feelings of appreciation were surmount to any other. 

"This means a lot to me. A lot," said World War II veteran Harvey Hebert. "If you've been near death and you had done it for somebody ... You appreciate whatever it is he tells you. Even though you got close to losing your life, that's how I feel."

The hometown heroes were recognized for their contributions to all branches of the military, from the Air Force, to the Navy and the Marines, sharing their fondest memories any chance they could. 

"When I was in Japan I saw a lifestyle that I didn't imagine and I enjoyed that," said World War II veteran Joel Pousson. "But the bad parts you forget them."

"We'd come back and ... drink a few beers ... and do the regular messing around and just get ready for the next mission," Hebert recalled. 

The Iota First organization planned to honor 13 World War II veterans, but unfortunately, time and age got the best of two of them before Sunday's celebration. 

"These veterans that are here today, from the time I started interviewing them, two of them died. And that's pretty sad," said Semmes. "They're leaving us at a rate of about 740 a day."

Which means one thing for those still standing, like Pousson.

"Like that man said we're dying off pretty fast, so if you're going to honor them, it's time," he said. 

Proving time is too fragile not to thank the men and women who have made America what it is today. 

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