Annual shrimp boil honors veterans


Kandice Johnson

ULM hosted its annual Military Day in The Grove Saturday, honoring local veterans in Monroe before the first opening game.

As soldiers and veterans walked around the grove, some in their uniforms others wearing some form of military memorabilia, several students and locals thanked them for their service.

Events throughout The Grove celebrated the brave men and women who served our country.

The Ouachita Parish Chapter of the ULM Alumni Association hosted its annual ULM shrimp boil, honoring Monroe’s veterans from the NELA War Veterans Home.

Robin Underwood, director of the ULM Alumni chapter, wanted this year’s annual shrimp boil not to compete against other functions going on in The Grove, but enhance the experience.

Donald R. Holloway was one of the veterans from the home who was honored. Holloway, an alumnus and a retired art professor at ULM, served 30 years in the army as a pilot in Germany and Korea. Holloway “loves coming out when ULM has something going on.”

Holloway recalled his near death experience during a flight when a bolt on his helicopter was inches away from coming off the plane.

“It almost killed me. While I was flying, something told me to land the plane,” Holloway said. Holloway was so shocked, that he took a picture of the plane and kept it. “I still look at that picture and I point to it and say, ‘ that’s how close I came’,” Holloway said.

Priest Crockett, an Army and National Guard veteran that served as a vehicle operator in the military for 13 years was honored as well. The Vietnam veteran was thankful that ULM and the Monroe community honored veterans that served our country. “It makes you appreciate what you did in the past,” Crockett said.

31 Ambassadors worked the event, serving veterans and alumnus all you can eat food and beverages.

For most members, the tribute to the military hit close to home.

Lezerrica Ford, the president of 31 Ambassadors, has worked this event for four years.

“We have a lot of volunteers work to pitch in to help,” said Ford, senior nursing major.

Ford’s father served in the army. Ford said local events like this “shed light on the soldiers contribution to the country.”

Christopher Adkins, a senior pre-pharmacy major, grandfather served in the army.

Adkins said this event means a lot to him because in a way “it’s honoring his grandfather even though he’s not here.”

Adkins has worked the annual shrimp boil event for three years, and says is the best event because it’s the first event that’s put on.

Local alumnus, Lewis and Jill Young, enjoyed their shrimp at the tailgate.

“It’s great to catch up with old timers,” Lewis Young said.

The annual shrimp boil is one of the biggest events held for the Alumnus. Over 650 pounds of shrimp was boiled for the event.

This was the first year Military Day and the annual shrimp boil’s event coincided with each other.