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Honor where it is due

Though they are sometimes forgotten, prison inmates come from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds.

Rayburn Correctional Center hosted the Louisiana Veterans Incarcerated Summit Thursday, Aug. 28, at the prison’s Bethel Interfaith Chapel. Prisoners from seven correctional institutions from around Southeast Louisiana were represented. All branches of the military were represented, as well. Among the prisons represented were Allen Correctional Center, Dixon Correctional Center and Elayne Hunt Correctional Center.

During the summit, prisoners heard various Louisiana Department of Corrections and Veterans Affairs officials explain what incarcerated veterans needed to do just before they are released from prison into society.

Louisiana State Sen. A.G. Crowe was the featured speaker. Speakers during the all-day event included the VA’s Lisa Webb, State Department of Public Safety and Corrections Assistant Secretary Whalen Gibbs, and a video presentation by Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. Richard Hartley represented Dardenne’s office.

A highlight of the event was the presentation of 108 Honor Medals, including one Purple Heart recipient.

Rayburn Warden Robert Tanner welcomed guests in attendance as did Rayburn Assistant Warden Dr. Wayne Cook. The master of ceremonies was Rayburn Veterans Cmdr. Charles E. Boyd.

There was a question-and-answer session with the prisoners after each speaker gave their presentation.

Rayburn Correctional Center hosted the first Incarcerated Summit on Aug. 22, 2013. During that event, 77 incarcerated veterans from facilities across the state were honored for their service.