Hometown Hero banners go up in DeRidder

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 7:28 AM CDT
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DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - The Hometown Hero banners are up along Washington Street in downtown DeRidder. It had a successful run for the Fourth of July. Vietnam Veteran Michael Cantrell’s banner is right in front of First National Bank of DeRidder.

“We were on helicopters, moving around,” recalled Cantrell. “We were in the bush. We stayed in the bush. 30 days straight. Come back, and go back around again.” Cantrell’s son and grandson are also veterans.

Downtown business owner Airel Perkins’ husband served in the military and is proud of the banner program.

“Our military service members here in town, they are humble,” said Perkins. “They don’t expect any sort of accommodation for what they’ve done. This shows our town who our Hometown Heroes are.”

June Warren Toothman says the picture of her dad is in front of the Beauregard Museum. She and her mother learned about her father being killed in Vietnam, while attending the Beauregard Parish Fair.

“We were at the fairgrounds and while we were there, the neighbor’s daughter rode with the men to identify my mother so they could give her the news that my father had passed away,” said Toothman.

The banner of Chamber of Commerce executive director Lisa Adams’ late father welcomes her to work every morning.

“As long as you resided in the 70634 zip code at some point in your life; while you were in the service or afterwards, that’s the only requirement,” said Adams. “Once you’re here, you are one of our hometown people.

While the program sold out initially, more banners will go up in the future. They will be on display through Labor Day and then will be back for Veterans Day each year. For more information, contact the Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce at 337-463-5533 or go by 111 N. Washington St. in DeRidder.

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