KPLC Hometown Heroes honored since 9/11

Nominations being sought
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 5:52 AM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - We’ve been saluting our Hometown Heroes for almost 22 years now. From World War 2 veterans to community members, these individuals have stood out to make a difference.

Just after the September 11, 2001 attacks, 7 News began honoring it’s Patriots and Heroes that made an impact on Southwest Louisiana and the nation. Our first honoree was Kevin Yokum, a Lake Charles native who died at the Pentagon. Through the years, we’ve interviewed veterans of WW 2, Korea, Vietnam and conflicts following 9/11.

“Our motto was ‘can do,” recalled the late Noah Lewis, a veteran of WWII. “I don’t care what it was, we would do it. We figured out a way to do it. Things they said couldn’t be done, we did it.”

Elliot Fontenot is also a veteran of WWII: “Finally he pulled me down and said, ‘Man get down. Heroes don’t live. Don’t you hear those bullets going by?’ I said I thought I heard something but I didn’t know what it was.”

The late Don Lovitt recalled seeing the damage at Pearl Harbor: “We went into the bay and the big battleships were laying on the bottom. The Arizona...oil was still coming up from the Arizona and it was a terrible, terrible sight.”

Vietnam veteran Pat Stanley recalled his Army days: “Helicopter pilots got shot down. We were dropped in to get them and the helicopter out. We may go on 4 or 5 missions a day.”

“But you really need to remember the people that didn’t make it back,” said Justin Mouser. “The ones who sacrifice everything. Because ultimately, it’s their cost I why I’m still sitting here and that’s why you’re here.”

And then there are the members of our community who stand out, for what they are doing to make SWLA a better place to live.

“I continue to pray to help somebody everyday,” said Pearl Cole with Abraham’s Tent feeding program. “But John, I had no idea it would be that many, okay? The idea was always, Lord allow me to make a difference in somebody’s life every day.”

Many family members have said their veteran never spoke of their wartime service until they were interviewed. If you know someone who deserves this honor, speak with them about it before sending us the information: