American Legion Post 24 honors several for yearly accomplishments

Published 1:44 pm Friday, June 30, 2023

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American Legion Post 24 held its annual Awards Dinner and honored several individuals in June.
Commander Donald Kuhn, Sr. presented each award winner with a certificate and thanked them for all they do for our community.
Those who were honored were Bogalusa Police Officer of the Year, Det. Sgt. Justin Blackwell, Corrections Officer of the Year, CO II Leonard Powell, Civilian of the Year and Washington Parish School System Superintendent Frances Varnado, Washington Parish Deputy of the Year, Detective Randy Reviere, Fireman of the Year, Fire Captain and Union President Michael Matthews and Teacher of the Year Ben’s Ford Christian School’s Destin Pittman.
Acting Assistant Chief of Police Troy Tervalon said Blackwell and Powell were chosen for their hard work and dedication to the Bogalusa Police Department.
“They both go above and beyond what is required of them to get the job done and they are assets to the City of Bogalusa!” Tervalon said.
A press release from the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office said that Detectives, Deputies and Randy Reviere’s peers say that he is an excellent report writer and he pays very close attention to detail. He is also well liked and respected, and approaches his job with enthusiasm and compassion. Detective Reviere received an immediate and unanimous vote from the command staff for the American Legion Post 24 Deputy of the Year award.
Sheriff Randy “Country” Seal said, “Detective Randy Reviere is a tremendous asset to WPSO
and is very deserving of the award from the American Legion. He is an outstanding law
enforcement officer and I am pleased we could be here to show our support in honoring him in
such a special way.”
Teacher of the Year Pittman said that It is an extreme honor and blessing to receive this award.
“I couldn’t do what I do without God leading and guiding me,” Pittman said. “I also couldn’t do what I do without an amazing support system in our school administration and coworkers who have helped me along the way. I also want to thank my wife for being there with me through all the late nights and being willing to do anything to help my students.”
Matthews has been a fireman for more than 10 years. He is a fire captain and union president.
“Michael is very energetic and probably one of our best firefighters,” Interim Bogalusa Fire Chief Donald Ladner said. “He’s taken on a lot of projects we have going on. He works well with others and he’s a good leader. He’s a God-fearing guy. He’s a family guy. He’s married to his wife Sammie Jo and they have six kids.”
Varnado has been the superintendent for the last 3.5 years and has been with the school system for 28.5.
“I was very honored,” Varnado said. “I never expected that. When they called and let me know, I was very appreciative. I give my all to the parents and students and I would do it whether I was honored or not. We should work to make our community a better place. This is home. If we don’t do it, then who will? It’s about serving the community and our students that live in this community to make it better for them.”