Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Hetherington, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Det. Northwest
Airline High School in Bossier City, La., welcomed a diverse cast of heroes from the Navy’s special warfare, recruiting, reserve and music communities during April 27’s Navy Night.
As part of the Bossier City, Shreveport Navy Week, which kicked off Monday, the event featured a performance by the U.S. Navy Parachute Team “The Leapfrogs,” a keynote speech by guest speaker Rear Adm. Keith Jones, Reserve Director, Logistics Programs and Business Operations and Ferriday, La., native, a joint proclamation by Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker and Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler declaring this week officially Navy Week in both cities, 20 future Sailors taking the Oath of Enlistment, a concert by Navy Band Southwest, as well as Navy Divers and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technicians demonstrating some of their equipment.
Community members in attendance were quite pleased with the performances of the evening.
“I think it was good, a great picture of what the Navy has to offer,” said Tyre Venious, a Bossier High School student who took the Oath of Enlistment during the ceremony. “I really liked it, especially the parachute team. That was my favorite part.”
“I loved everything, from the Leapfrogs to the band performance,” said Mayor Ollie Tyler, mayor of Shreveport. “The band is just so phenomenal, and I’ve never seen something like the parachute show before.”
Venious saw the opportunity to take the oath of enlistment as a big step toward his future in the Navy.
“It meant stepping out and being a leader, showing that no matter what background you’re from, you can step up and do greater things,” said Venious. “I wanted to show my parents, who were here, and other people in the community that I want to help serve my country.”
Mayor Tyler was inspired by the younger members of her community stepping forward to serve their country.
“It was so touching,” said Tyler. “I didn’t realize we were going to have that tonight. “Seeing those young people being interested in becoming a part of the Navy is just phenomenal. When you bring activities like the ones you’re doing this week in our community, you will find that we have a lot of young people who want to be a part of the Navy.”
Venious, whose parents were in the Air Force, welcomed the opportunity to see a different aspect of the military.
“Around here we’re really heavy on Air Force, so for the Navy to choose Shreveport/Bossier and come out here to show us what they’re all about is really an honor,” said Venious. “It shows all that the Navy has to offer, not just swimming and big boats.”
Tyler stated her appreciation and for the military and the specific roles of the Navy and looked forward to future collaborations with the Navy.
“I think all military men and women just do so much for our country, and certainly we don’t have enough presence of the Navy here,” said Tyler. “I think you serve such a significant role protecting us, particularly on the sea, and we’d love to have more Navy presence in our community. We welcome you any time.”
Navy Weeks focus a variety of assets, equipment and personnel on a single city for a week-long series of engagements designed to bring America’s Navy closer to the people it protects, in cities that don’t have a large naval presence.