Monthly Archives: February 2011

Louisiana Honor Medal

Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal

The Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal was created by Act 695 of 2008 Louisiana Legislature.  The intention is to recognize and honor all Louisiana veterans.  One side of the medal bears an outline of the state and the words, “United States Armed Forces.”  The flip side  reads, “Louisiana appreciates your service to our country.”  All medals may be worn over the neck or pinned on a jacket.  Some medals are distinguished for veterans killed in action or wounded in action; others designate veterans who were prisoners of war.

The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs encourages all eligible Louisiana veterans to apply to receive their Honor Medal. Military personnel killed while on active duty and deceased veterans are also eligible for the medal.

Medals are being presented during special ceremonies throughout Louisiana at appointed times.  Veterans must be prequalified to receive their Honor Medal during the ceremony.

I received a notice approximately a week prior to the presentation yesterday that I was invited to receive my Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal in a ceremony to be held at Christian Worship Center in Alexandria and awarded by Governor Bobby Jindal.

My wife (Kay) and I headed to the Christian Worship Center and arrived about 11:30am and the ceremony was to begin at 11:45am.  Finally around 12:15pm Governor Jindal arrived and the ceremony began.  The Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs began the program and introduced the Governor and then the Pledge was said and National Anthem was sung.

Governor Jindal and myself

Presented Honor Medal by Gov. Jindal

Governor Jindal gave an address and spoke of many veterans and several of those in the audience that had given so much for their country.  His address lasted approximately 30 minutes and then he proceeded to award personally the medal to the 143 veterans that were in attendance.  As you can see I received mine and it is a beautiful medal that hangs around your neck that can be worn that way or pinned on a jacket.

If you meet the criteria below you can download the application for the medal at the following web site:

This is a pdf and is able to be printed off.  Once filled out simply submit it to the Louisiana Department of Veterans affairs and you will be notified of the presentations in and around the state.

Eligibility criteria include:
• Veteran served in the U.S. armed forces during wartime or peacetime;
• Veteran received an honorable discharge or died prior to separation;
• Veteran is a current Louisiana resident, was a Louisiana resident upon entering military service or was a resident at the time of death.

For military personnel killed on active duty, attach DD Form 1300/death certificate. Attach DD-214 form, and mail completed application to:

Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Honor Medal
P.O. Box 94095 Capital Station
Baton Rouge, LA, 70804

If you have questions about the Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal Program, please call 1-877-GEAUXVA.

A special thank you to the great Governor of the State of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, for thinking and remembering the veterans of his state and recognizing them in this very special way and with a very beautiful medal.  All that received it were honored and it showed!

1 Comment

Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


Splendor on the Island

That is the best statement that I can make when it comes to talking about the Hotel Galvez, better known as the “Queen of the Gulf”, located on Galveston Island, Texas.  The Galvez is most definitely “Splendor on the Island”.

The Hotel Galvez, built in 1911 as a symbol of Galveston’s recovery after the Hurricane of 1900, has been a military headquarters during World War II, a temporary White House for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s staff and in the 1920s served as a hub for Galveston’s social, political and business scene.

Hotel Galvez in 1911

Hotel Galvez will celebrate 100 years in June 2011 and has survived many a storm that has come ashore in the Galveston area.  Most recently Hurricane Ike which came ashore on September 13, 2008.  Many areas around the island have the waterline marked on their buildings which shows the water to be over my head, and I am 6’4″.  That is a lot of water!  Hotel Galvez had water that covered the entire first floor area, not to mention those areas below ground level.  But she survived and is still a radiant beauty today.

Initially Kay and I were unsure where we were going to stay after my doctor appointments in Houston earlier in the day.  She knew of the Hotel Galvez and wanted to just drive by and see it.  Finally after trying prices at other hotels in the area she contact the Hotel Galvez.  They made her such a deal over the phone that we just had check it out.

Hotel Galvez 2011

We arrived and there was a doorman that met the car and opened the doors of the vehicle and then proceeded to open the doors of the hotel for us to enter. When we entered it was like stepping back in time as the decor was awesome.  Now mind you walking into the Hotel Bentley in Alexandria, LA had the same effect when it was in operation.  I know as I had the pleasure of staying at the Bentley for almost 60 days after transferring to the area.

After checking in and talking the desk clerk into upgrading us to a room high and facing the Gulf of Mexico we headed to our room.  We were on the 6th floor, any higher required special access, and almost mid-hotel.  The view would have been awesome except the salt spray had placed a film on the windows that made it difficult to see well.  But we were still in a very nice room with what would have been a awesome view.

Our room was 4 star quality and caliber what with the king size bed which was topped with high quality linen and a duvet cover.  There was a sitting area with a very comfortable couch, both wired and wireless high speed internet, 40″ flat screen television mounted to the wall, small refrigerator tucked into the dresser, safe also with the dresser, shower with dual shower heads – one overhead which was totally awesome and many other extras.  I guess what I am trying to say is if you ever have the chance to stay at the Hotel Galvez, take the opportunity you will not be disappointed.

Kay waiting for her coffee

Continued excellence awaited us as we entered the dinning area and was shown to our table.  The settings on the table was of the highest quality and our waiter was very polite and wanted to know what we would like to have for a beverage.  We had coffee and apple juice to begin with and then began to look at the menu.  I won’t go into what we actually had for breakfast other than to say it was fantastic and we were both stuffed when we left.

Enjoying the Bolivar Ferry ride

We checked out of our room and departed the hotel around noon.  Headed to the Bolivar Ferry for the trip across the ship channel.  This is so awesome as it saves having to go back through Houston and all the traffic.  And there is no cost to use the ferry.  Sure saves a lot of time and gives you a neat view of the harbor and all the ships and boats that are using the waterway.  It was very interesting and pleasant way to cross over the channel.

When we arrived on the other side we continued our drive homeward.  Stopping along the way to do some seashell hunting.  We stopped at the right spot and found a good load of shells to bring home.  Now we begin the cleaning and polishing of them.  Not a huge problem or job.

Kay and I pulled into our drive around 8:20pm after having a great time on the road.  It was nice to get home and we were happy to see that Ki Ki (our adopted cat) had survived our being gone.  She meowed, we fed her and she was very happy and constantly rubbed up against our legs as if it were a game to weave in and out.

Not all the news was great news from the trip.  I was hoping that the Neurosurgeon that I went to see re my back would give me some hope.  Well he didn’t.  I was told that I have a bulge in one of my disc but that it is not bad enough for surgery.  I also have a lot of arthritis of the spine which there is nothing that they can do for.  The doctor wrote prescriptions for new pain medication and muscle relaxers to try to help.  I will try those and see how they do.  Please keep me in your prayers!

I know that I have the greatest physician that anyone could ever hope for.  God has the ability to heal me and I know he will.  I have all the faith in Him and know that He will take my pain away!

Jerimiah 17:14 
Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;

save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise.

1 Comment

Posted by on February 19, 2011 in Uncategorized


Breathing – Taken For Granted

What is a normal breathing rate for adults?  After looking it up on the internet I found that normal is 12-18 breaths per minute.

Many of us I am sure take this for granted every day of our lives.  That is until we have a problem that comes up that causes us to struggle to take a breath of that wonderful life providing item called – breath.

I found that I was one of those that for years took it for granted.  After being sick with a cold for almost 10 days and taking medicine prescribed by the hospital I found myself gasping for breath.  I bent over to plug in a space heater behind the television and by the time I raised up I was short of breath and found that I was grasping for breath.

I had never had a problem breathing before and now here I was wondering what was happening to me.  My wife noticed and got me over to my chair to rest and catch my breath.  She then advised me that the next day I was going to the hospital to find out what was going on with me.

Ended up in the emergency room at the VA Medical Center here in Pineville and after some blood test and a chest x-ray I finally saw a doctor.  He listened to my lungs and talked with me and said that it appeared that I had a bad case of bronchitis.  Next thing I know I was getting breathing treatments, an IV for dehydration and 2 shots of antibiotics.  Ended up receiving 3 breathing treatments in all and staying at the hospital from around 2:00pm until almost 8:00pm when we got back home.  The breathing treatments seemed to help and they sent me home with a grocery shopping bag filled with medicine, breathing machine to continue the treatments at home.

Now I am very cognizant of my breathing and very thankful for each and every breath I am able to take.  One tends to do that when something happens and we are made aware of how important it is.

Take time to be thankful for the awesome breaths you are able to take each and every day that will sustain your life.  For without it we will not be able to remain on this earth to enjoy the things we love.

1 Comment

Posted by on February 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


What’s Next?

A view of my backyard from the deck. Trees are iced over!

After spending 4 days sick and finally giving up and going to see the doctor at the VA Hospital.  I find that I was dehydrated and that they wanted to keep me and put an IV in to both hydrate me and to push antibiotics via the IV.  I talked the doctor out of that and promised that I would come home rest and drink a lot of gatorade plus take my antibiotics like a good little boy.

The last thing I want to do is to spend time in a hospital bed.  Besides you don’t get a whole lot of rest in a hospital.  Seems like just about the time you finally are able to close your eyes and drift off to sleep, BINGO, they are coming in to take your vital signs or to ask if you have been to the bathroom lately.  So really, how much rest do you get in a hospital?

And now after being sick comes the next problem, an ice storm!  Actually they are calling for rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow – that covers all the bases for the weatherman.  When we went to bed it had already begun to drizzle and seemed as though as soon as it hit the trees, deck and ground it was freezing.  The deck was really slick and had a pretty good sheet of ice on it.

Woke up around 5:30am as my bladder was telling me it was time to empty and I heard thunder and it was now raining out.  In a way I guess that is good because it would possibly help melt the ice on the roadways.  As far as the trees and everything above ground it was still a pretty good coating of ice on everything.  However, by 8:45am the paper had been delivered, coffee was on and I was sitting in my recliner with heat on reading the news of the day.

You have to feel for those in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area who were planning on all the money coming into town riding high on the Super Bowl which is to be played this Sunday.  Well they have received an additional 5″ of new snow on top of all the ice and snow that had already fallen in the area.  School has been out all week due to the weather.  Travel in that area is still not recommended and from what I have heard they only have 4 of the 7 runways open at the DFW Airport.

Crazy winter and one that will be in the record books for a long time.

Wife is calling me to breakfast, so stay warm and have a great weekend!!

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 4, 2011 in Uncategorized