40 & 8 veterans raise money with fish fry

Published 6:55 am Saturday, August 20, 2016

Local veterans group 40 and Eight raised nearly $4,000 Friday with a catfish fundraiser.

Buddy Fornea, the commander of the local post, said the money will be used to defray costs form attending the 40 and Eight national convention meeting in Ohio in mid-September. Bogalusa’s color guard will open the ceremony, so it’s important the group attend.

Despite the fundraiser, however, Fornea said he expects it won’t cover the trip.

“No, but it’s a good start,” he said.

The 40 and Eight organization started after the WWI, and it refers to shipments of troops or mules via freight cars. Each car could hold 40 men or eight mules. Fornea said the organization used to be a partner organization with the American Legion, though now the two groups are distinct, and any member of any of the armed services may join 40 and Eight.

Fornea explained all the members of the Bogalusa 40 and Eight are also members of the Legion, and the members are well supported in Bogalusa.

“People in the community are really supportive,” he said.

Fornea said the 40 and Eight try to give back to the community, too. The color guard in particular tries to offer its services to schools and churches as needed.

“We do a lot of stuff here locally and for the state,” he said. “Schools call us to do flag presentations like at football games and we go to churches and post the colors for the churches.”

In addition, Fornea said next month the 40 and Eight chapter will kickoff a Flags for First Graders program in all area schools. The program will provide small flags for kids and members of the 40 and Eight will go into classrooms and offer civics lessons.

“What we’ll do is, we’ll go into the class and talk to the class for about 30 minutes about the flag and what it represents,” he said.

That program will begin in about three weeks.

Fornea said he expects the second fundraiser to be similar to Friday’s fish fry, and he’s hopeful for a good turnout.

In the meantime, he said if anyone would like to donate to the group’s expense account for the Ohio trip, they may call him at 985-517-7604.