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Opelousas DAR Chapter Recognizes Gold Star Mothers

Photographs by Freddie Herpin.

Editor/Consulting Writer

A pair of St. Landry Parish Gold Star mothers, whose sons were killed in combat, was recognized during a Tuesday afternoon ceremony hosted by the Opelousas Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The DAR-sponsored tribute affair conducted at the Villemarette residence in the Big Cane area near

LeBeau, remembered the military deaths for the two sons of Ruth Reed and Elaine Richard, who were featured guests at the event.

“These remarkable women have endured the unimaginable pain of losing their beloved sons. Their presence (on Tuesday) serves as a poignant reminder of the profound impact that war has on families and the strength that it takes to carry on in the face of such a loss,” according to a press release issued in connection with the event.

Verna Duplechain, the aunt of Jonathan Reed, was also acknowledged during the DAR ceremony that recognized Ruth Reed and Elaine Richa

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Reed, the son of Ruth Reed, was 25 on Jan. 28, 2005, when he died as a nearby vehicle struck an improvised explosive device, during an incident that occurred in Baghdad, Iraq.

The information on the DAR press release also said that at the time of his death, Reed was serving with the 1088th Engineering Battalion, 256th Brigade Combat Team attached to the Louisiana Army National Guard that was operating in Baghdad.

U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph A. Richard, son of Elaine Richard, was 27 on April 14, 2008, when he was riding in a vehicle that struck an improvised explosive device in Baghdad.

Richard, who was serving with the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion of a 10th Mountain Division combat team, died from the wounds that he received as the vehicle encountered the device, the press release said.

The press release added that the DAR recognizes and supports Ruth Reed and Elaine Richard and all Gold Star mothers.

“We cannot fathom the depth of their sorrow, but we can offer our unwavering support, respect and appreciation. We honor their sons’ service and sacrifice and we recognize the profound impact that their loss has had on their lives,” the press release added.

Jerri Ledoux, a liaison for District 4 U.S. Congressman Mike Johnson, spoke during the event.