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Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Purple Heart recipient to speak at American Legion 3rd District Fall Conference

Purple Heart recipient to speak at American Legion 3rd District Fall Conference

The American Legion Mighty 3rd District and Houma’s Lennox-Hotard Post 31 will be hosting their District’s fall conference Oct. 21 – 23.

The conference will be held at the Quality Inn in Houma, and all activities are open to all American Legion members and those Veterans who would like to enjoy great company with other veterans, their families and learn more about the American Legion.

The conference will have activities, speakers and opportunities for veterans of all ages to socialize and integrate with other spouses, veterans and other children of veterans.

The weekend will include a memorial for veterans and culminate with the Keynote speaker Retired Sergeant and Purple Heart recipient, Rick Yarosh of New York.

Rick is a Class of 2000, Windsor Central High School graduate. While attending high school, Rick excelled in athletics. He was an active leader in sports and the captain of his high school football and wrestling teams.

In June of 2004, Rick entered the Army. Four months later he graduated from Basic and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky as a U. S. Calvary Scout. After graduation he was sent to Fort Hood, Texas for further training in operating and gunning a Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

In December of 2005 Rick was deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Baghdad, Iraq.

On September 1, 2006, Rick was part of a routine military mission in the Abu Ghraib region of Iraq. While on the mission, the Bradley was hit with an IED and the vehicle was engulfed in flames. Within 40 hours after the explosion, Rick and his two comrades arrived at the military burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Sergeant Luis Montes, who was the commander of the Bradley, passed away on Sept. 7.

Now retired from the Army, Rick gives inspirational talks to anyone who would like to hear his story, which, although tragic in parts, is not a story of tragedy. It is one of being able to get through anything with a positive attitude. Most importantly, Rick can honestly say he is happier than he has ever been in his entire life.

Not only will Sergeant Yarosh be speaking to the American Legion Family but Post 31 is sponsoring a talk at the Regional Military Museum for the local high school students on October 20.

If you are interested in attending the conference and learning more about the American Legion contact M. Lee Shaffer at or 985-804-2265. Also, find more information, conference registration forms, and schedule of events at