Louisiana Military Museum may Relocate

The Louisiana Military Museum, located at 201 Memorial Drive in Ruston, is looking for a new and larger location, it was said at last night’s meeting of city’s Board of Aldermen.

The subject came up during discussion about the annual renewal of the cooperative endeavor agreement between the museum and the city.

Mike Froelich, a resident and frequent visitor to council meetings, said he had heard rumors of a relocation.

Mayor Ronny Walker said there was an effort to find funding to renovated an existing building, or build a new building.

“I was in DC last week looking for some funding for that. There’s lots of artifacts that are not being shown now, because there’s no place to show them.”

The museum’s director, Ernie Stevens, is a decorated Viet Nam vet.

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Private First Class Ernest Alexander Stevens (MCSN: 2115400), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Machine Gunner with Company K, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 18 July 1966. During Operation HASTINGS in Quang Tri Province, Private First Class Stevens’ Company was providing rear security for a Battalion march column when it came under heavy mortar, small arms and automatic weapons fire from all sides from a North Vietnamese force of regimental size. Initial enemy fire superiority forced the unit to take cover. From his position in a stream bed, Private First Class Stevens realized that he could not deliver effective fire upon the enemy. The only advantageous firing position lacked cover and was completely exposed to the deadly enemy rounds. Completely disregarding his own safety, he moved his gun to the exposed position and began delivering effective fire on the enemy, preventing them from overrunning the left flank of the rear element. While in this position, he was wounded in the right eye by fragments from an enemy hand grenade and was forced to move fifty meters to the rear for medical aid. As soon as he had been treated, he returned to the forward position and continued the fight. Before he had reached his machine gun, he noticed that tone of the enemy dead forward of friendly lines had a serviceable automatic weapon. He courageously moved through intense enemy fire, captured the automatic weapon and used it to provide covering fire for the evacuation of ten wounded Marines. His heroic action was a deciding factor in stopping the enemy onslaught and in saving the lives of his disabled fellow Marines. By his daring initiative, determination and resolute devotion to duty, Private First Class Stevens upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

In other business, the council approved the naming of a bridge on Lee Avenue adjacent to Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church for the late Rev. Dr. C. P. Payne.

Payne was the long-time pastor of the church. Several family members were at last night’s meeting.

Alderwomen Carolyn Cage and Angela Mayfield noted that they were both baptized by Rev. Payne.

One Response to “Louisiana Military Museum may Relocate”

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