Bossier Parish Community College honored local veterans in a commemorative ceremony Friday morning.
Guest speaker Col. Andrew Gebara, Commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, said it’s important to remember the importance of Nov. 11 as a way to honor the men and women who serve in the United States armed forces. Gebara is the third generation of his family to serve in the military, following the footsteps of his grandfather, father and uncle.
Fortunately, Gebara said his family members were unharmed during their service. Others, however, have remarkable stories of heroism to share.
Senior Airman Bryenna Brooks, 2nd Medical Group at Barksdale Air Force Base, supplied direct medical attention to troops serving in Afghanistan and was the sole convoy medic for 25 missions, providing 24 hour medical care to more than a thousand troops during her 205 day deployment in 2010-2011.
On her last mission, Brooks sustained injuries after a rocket propelled grenade attack on their convoy. Yet, she still provided medical attention to the troops around her.
Brooks, a native of Wisconsin, said she joined the Air Force for the challenge, the educational opportunities and the chance to travel. She now has a Purple Heart and a title that only a few people in the Air Force will ever have – Outstanding Airmen of the Year.
“It is truly an honor to serve my country,” she said.
Gebara said members of the military elect to serve because they believe in freedom for all Americans. He ended by quoting Thomas Paine, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”
“That is why we serve, so others may know peace,” Gebara said.
As the country paused to honor and celebrate veterans over the weekend, Gebara hopes the public will continue to support the efforts of all men and women in uniform.
“As long as that star spangled banner yet waves, there’s nothing we can’t do as Americans,” he said.
BPCC will continue to honor its veterans this month through the artifacts and memorabilia collected for a display in the library. The display is free to see and open to the public through Nov. 21.
The BPCC Library, located in Building A, is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. For more information, call (318) 678-6042.