World War II vet speaks of service, sacrifice

Resource fair for Veterans


Every year, the Southwest Louisiana War Veteran's Home in Jennings holds its resource fair for veterans serving as the perfect reminder of the honor and respect veterans still have in this country. 
"The advantage is the ability to communicate," said World War II Army Veteran, Dr. Sanford LaBorde. "It's a communication event and that's very necessary."
Dr. LaBorde served in the war as an optometrist and remembers the very day he was drafted.  
"I was in college getting my degree and they pulled my number," he said. "When I reported, they told me go back and complete your college education ... because you'll be more valuable to us as a finished product." 
After earning his degree, he was off to France, a place he called home for nearly four years.
"I landed at Utah Beach in Normandy ... my outfit was a medical outfit ... I'm Dr. LaBorde," he said.
LaBorde returned to Southwest Louisiana and worked his private practice for nearly 60 years before moving to the war veteran's home in Jennings. He said that even in today's society where veterans are sometimes overlooked, for the most part, Southwest Louisiana has always been a supporter of veteran's affairs. 
The home's annual resource fair was is an example of that.
"It is extremely important. They need to understand that they still have a voice in this world," said Director, Christy Callens. "That they matter, that they're important, that they represent issues not just for them in this home but veterans and seniors across our state and this country."
The fair offered veterans the opportunity to learn about all the programs and resources that are available to them completely free of charge. 
"Various providers, vendors and service providers to our veterans that would extend beyond healthcare to mental health, social activities, social organizations and groups, crafts, leisure activities," said Callens. 
Even with that, Dr. LaBorde says there's always room for improvement and more to learn. 

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