Hero Day at Fort Polk - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Hero Day at Fort Polk

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FORK POLK, La. - The military held its second annual home of heroes celebration Thursday, but the people being recognized wear suits and heels, instead of uniforms and boots. Eleven Cenla businessmen and women were recognized by the military for their support of their hometown heroes. News Channel Five's Nolan Crane shows us what they're doing to get the army to give a salute to them.

Members of the U.S. army filled Fort Polk's auditorium to show their appreciation to eleven members of the Cenla community who have been named as Fort Polk's Heroes of 2012. The message sent today is that heroes are not only people who fight for our country, but people who fight for our soldiers.

"The strength of our army is our soldiers. The strength of our soldiers our there families and the strength of our families is the community," says Lt. Col. Dennis Yates.

Deborah Randolph, the president of Central Louisiana's Chamber of Commerce, is grateful for the award she was given for the massive job fair she helped organize earlier this year that got jobs for hundreds of soldiers.

"We were so honored to help find jobs for the soldiers, the men and women," says Deborah Randolph.

Randolph doesn't think those actions make her a "hero," she says she was just doing a favor for the men and women she believes are the people who are the real heroes.

"These men and woman truly are the heroes and we feel honored to be able to support them," says Deborah Randolph.

Executive Director of England Airpark, Jon Grafton feels the same way about the award he was given.

"We consider ourselves as part of the military, we just don't wear the uniforms," says Jon Grafton.

Grafton's part to help our military is done at AEX.

"Last year we moved over 24 million pounds of military cargo through the facility, we regularly do over 20 thousand soldiers through our facility. When the nation needs to move troops and supplies England Airpark and Central Louisiana is the place to do it," says Jon Grafton.

"This was our chance today to say a big thank you to some of those key people in the community and the region who help make Fort Polk what it is," says Lt. Col. Dennis Yates.

"I'm very humbled and appreciative," says Deborah Randolph.

A humbling experience for Cenla leaders to be called heroes by the very people who make it possible to be just that.

This years Fort Polk Heroes include: DeRidder Mayor Ron Roberts, Cenla Chamber of Commerce President Deborah Randolph, Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce President Ann Causey, President/CEO South West Louisiana Economic Development Alliance George Swift, England Airpark Executive Director Jon Grafton, Fort Polk Garrison Executive Officer Bobbie L. Parks, Fort Polk Fire Chief Michael L. Kuk, Fort Polk Plans Chief Stephanie A. Sarver, Fort Polk Internal Review Chief Susan L. Williams, Fort Polk Police Chief Bobby S. Lungrin, and Fort Polk Community Planner Lorna G. Hanes.

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