Tribute to veterans with hometown hero Victory Belles
The Iberville Salute to Veterans event is back this year with two exciting crowd pleasures. The WWII Museum’s Victory Belles will perform again, and Lt. Col. Ryan Carville, a Plaquemine native and recently retired Air Force pilot who earned the Bronze Star, will be the guest speaker.
The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Veterans Day, November 11, at the Iberville Veterans Memorial at 23640 Railroad Avenue in Plaquemine. The event will be moved to the Carl Grant Civic Center in Plaquemine if rain is forecast for the time of the event.
The Victory Belles were a huge hit with local audiences, offering lively performances featuring musical hits from World War II and patriotic tunes sung in three part harmony. Their performances feature dazzling costumes, choreography, and audience interaction. They have performed at many national and international events, as well as at the WWII Museum in New Orleans.
In addition, a hero from his hometown will be the guest speaker. Ryan Carville, son of Donna and Charlie Carville of Plaquemine, retired in August after 20 years of military service. Between 2001 and 2021, Lt. Col. Carville’s career in the Air Force took him to nine different assignments, including three overseas tours. He was both a pilot and an instructor pilot, flying a C-5 Galaxy 750 hours of combat over Iraq and Afghanistan.
The C-5 Galaxy is the Air Force’s largest cargo plane, capable of carrying twice the cargo of any other transport aircraft. As a C-5 pilot, he was selected into the fleet’s only special operations team, pushing the aircraft to its limits, including low-level flight in total darkness and trained for tactical operations in contested areas. He also toured as a flight instructor with the US Navy, teaching Navy and Navy student pilots.
In 2012, Carville was accepted into the Air Force Financial Management Leadership Program, where he moved from operations to leadership. In this program, he defined the budgetary policy of the headquarters of the United States Air Force in Europe and was financial director of two bases of the Air Force.
He also completed a year-long tour of Afghanistan where he worked directly with the Afghan Army, served as NATO Advisor to the Afghan Air Force Budget Chief and led 1.8 billion dollars in military sales abroad, including the purchase of military aircraft, communications equipment, ammunition and logistics. Support
He has won numerous awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star for his heroic exploits in a combat zone, as well as the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (3 clusters of oak leaves), Air Medal, Air Achievement Medal, Air Force Medal of Honor, Navy Medal of Achievement and Air Force Medal of Achievement. He is married to Anna Colleen Carville and they have two sons — Benjamin, 8, and Logan, 6.
Other elements of this year’s Salute to Veterans event include the Iberville Veterans Wall, which now features photos of some 1,900 veterans associated with the Iberville Parish, a performance by Baton Rouge Pipes and Drums, PHS ROTC Rifle Drill Team, MSA Band Academy Concert, St. John’s School Choir, Simms Sons and Military Color Guard units.
A collection of supplies for active military personnel will be collected during this event. This is organized by the students of St. John School, who collect the supplies and pack them up to send to the troops. Participants are requested to bring one of the following products: lip balm, medicated foot powder, shoe soles, antibiotic ointment, anti-itch ointment, muscle pain ointment, eye drops, eyeglass wipes , mouthwash, toothpaste, deodorant (non-aerosol), miniature toilet rolls, feminine hygiene products, shaving cream, disposable razors, shower gel / soap, baby wipes, shampoo, scrubs, cotton swabs, disinfectant for hands, skin lotions, sunscreen (in tube), insect repellant (not aerosol), hand warmers, trail mix, popcorn, Cracker Jacks, hot chocolate, powdered drink mixes for individual water bottles , Gatorade powder, coffee / tea, beef jerky (no pork), Slim Jims, chewing gum, crossword, air fresheners, pencils / pens, small notebooks.
The Iberville Veterans Salute is in its 13th year, with last year’s event being canceled due to the COVID pandemic. It is sponsored by Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr. and the Iberville Parish Council.