GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - In Ascension Parish, veterans of war are calling on the community for support. Many of them spend a good bit of their retirement maintaining public parks and playgrounds. But they are falling short on the public donations they rely on to complete those efforts.
U.S. Air Force veteran Ed Hall takes pride in is country and his work, not just in the military but also at Veterans Memorial Park in Gonzales. He helped build a bench there.
"A lot of folks come and walk in the park and it gives them a place to sit down," Hall said.
It is where people gather on Independence Day, Memorial Day and on Veterans Day. In that special place, those who have fought for America are honored on those special days. Many of those heroes who served continue their work at home, keeping the park and the parish beautiful.
"I'm on the park committee. I'm on the American Veterans Association and VFW. There's always something going on," Hall said.
When they are not planning an event to honor their comrades, they are using their skills to help others. Their specialty is building handicap ramps for disabled veterans. But that is not all.
"Sometimes people have issues where they can't come up with the money to pay pharmacy or medical bills or that sort of thing. With the Ascension Veterans Association's Musical Tribute we are raising enough money where we can help them with that occasionally," Ret. U.S. Army SFC Brent Gautreau said.
The musical tribute that Gautreau is referring to is the only fund raising event in Ascension Parish that helps veterans and their families. It is usually sold out each year, but this year with just three days to go, only half the tickets have been sold.
Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux said helping them, benefits everyone.
"Some of these guys will go around and ask to do a little work. They'll ask us, can we help the garden club, any maintenance work, anything like that,"
There are hundreds of servicemen and women who represent U.S. Army National Guard units in Ascension Parish. They have the manpower, they just need a little help financial support from the public.
The Musical Tribute for the Troops will be held at the Civic Center in Gonzales on Friday, March 4.
Tickets are $30. It includes food, entertainment, and a silent auction. For more information call, Brent Gautreau at (225) 485-7875.