Local color guard takes top honors in national competition

Published 8:23 am Friday, October 24, 2014

The local Voiture 1360 of 40 & 8 of the Louisiana Grand recently won the National Color Guard Competition in Virginia Beach, Va., at the 40 & 8 Promenade Nationale.

The event was Sept. 23.

“This is a great honor for us, the community and the state. We’re judged by other national veterans,” Chef deGare, or Post Commander, Buddy Fornea said. “It’s the first time we’ve ever won the competition.”

The local group consists of Doy Cothern, Dr. Brad Williams, Gary Dodds, Donald Kuhn, Johnny Dominguez, Mike Henley and Fornea.

Oregon and Wisconsin finished second and third in the competition.

“Last year in September we went to Phoenix and watched the National Color Guard Competition,” Henley said. “When we returned, we decided to organize a color guard and compete in this year’s competition. We had three full months of practice two days per week prior to going to Virginia Beach. At his own time and expense, Gunnery Sgt. Jerry Brown, one of the directors of the Franklinton High School Marine Corps JROTC program, came to Bogalusa and trained our color guard. Without his help, we probably would not have won.”

Fornea said Voiture 1360 of 40 & 8 members Huey Pierce and Bob Latino were also instrumental in getting the group prepared.

“By winning the competition, our color guard is now the official color guard for the 40 & 8 International,” Henley said.

Voiture 40 & 8 is a fraternal organization of American Legion.

The group travels to Green Bay, Wisc., next year for the competition. In late February 2015, the group goes to the Cajun Wreck in Lafayette. The state competition is in July, also in Lafayette. The group presented the colors last week at the Washington Parish Free Fair.