Representative Abraham recognizes Winnfield football players

Players carried WWII hero on final march

(The News-Star) - According to our partners at The News-Star, Ralph Abraham recognized the Winnfield High School football players who recently helped a veteran.

When a 93-year-old World War II veteran who outlived his family and friends died, Winnfield High School football players stepped up to be his pall bearers.

And on Monday the players were recognized by their congressman, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, during a speech on the House floor.

"I just thought it warranted recognition," Abraham said in an interview with USA Today Network. "These players and the man they carried represent everything that's right about America.

"Anybody who's worried about the next generation should look at these young men and be inspired."

Thomas Edward Hunter, 93, died on Sept. 12, but there was nobody left to carry him.

That changed when Winnfield players Matthew Harrell, Brett Jurek, Justin Lawson, T.J. Homan, Christian Evans and Lee Estay volunteered to serve as Hunter's pallbearers.

Following are excerpts from Abraham's speech:

"I rise today to share with you an inspiring story about a community rallying to honor one of our nation’s heroes.

"Word of Mr. Hunter’s passing reached the folks at Winnfield Senior High School, which is in a small community in rural North-Central Louisiana that I have the privilege to represent.

"After hearing about Mr. Hunter, six Winnfield football players – Matthew Harrell, Brett Jurek, Justin Lawson, T.J. Homan, Christian Evans and Lee Estay – stepped up to serve as pallbearers.

"Additionally, the folks at Southern Funeral Home arranged for military honors at Mr. Hunter’s funeral service, complete with a flag and a playing of Taps.

"I am so inspired by the actions of Matthew, Brett, Justin, TJ, Christian and Lee, as well as others in the community who gave Mr. Hunter the hero’s send-off he deserved. They didn’t know this man, but they knew that every veteran deserves to die with dignity and be honored for the sacrifices he made in defense of this nation.

"Mr. Speaker, I think the actions of these young men speak volumes about what’s truly important: Country, community, family, God.

"Our flag and the nation it stands for is special because of veterans like Thomas Hunter who answered the call to serve. Thousands have given their lives for that flag and this nation, and they deserve our respect for their sacrifices.

"These young men in Winnfield get that, and I think others in this country will learn from their example."

Read more at The News-Star.

According to our partners at The News-Star, Ralph Abraham recognized the Winnfield High School football players who recently helped a veteran.

When a 93-year-old World War II veteran who outlived his family and friends died, Winnfield High School football players stepped up to be his pall bearers.

And on Monday the players were recognized by their congressman, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, during a speech on the House floor.

"I just thought it warranted recognition," Abraham said in an interview with USA Today Network. "These players and the man they carried represent everything that's right about America.

"Anybody who's worried about the next generation should look at these young men and be inspired."

Thomas Edward Hunter, 93, died on Sept. 12, but there was nobody left to carry him.

That changed when Winnfield players Matthew Harrell, Brett Jurek, Justin Lawson, T.J. Homan, Christian Evans and Lee Estay volunteered to serve as Hunter's pallbearers.

Following are excerpts from Abraham's speech:

"I rise today to share with you an inspiring story about a community rallying to honor one of our nation’s heroes.

"Word of Mr. Hunter’s passing reached the folks at Winnfield Senior High School, which is in a small community in rural North-Central Louisiana that I have the privilege to represent.

"After hearing about Mr. Hunter, six Winnfield football players – Matthew Harrell, Brett Jurek, Justin Lawson, T.J. Homan, Christian Evans and Lee Estay – stepped up to serve as pallbearers.

"Additionally, the folks at Southern Funeral Home arranged for military honors at Mr. Hunter’s funeral service, complete with a flag and a playing of Taps.

"I am so inspired by the actions of Matthew, Brett, Justin, TJ, Christian and Lee, as well as others in the community who gave Mr. Hunter the hero’s send-off he deserved. They didn’t know this man, but they knew that every veteran deserves to die with dignity and be honored for the sacrifices he made in defense of this nation.

"Mr. Speaker, I think the actions of these young men speak volumes about what’s truly important: Country, community, family, God.

"Our flag and the nation it stands for is special because of veterans like Thomas Hunter who answered the call to serve. Thousands have given their lives for that flag and this nation, and they deserve our respect for their sacrifices.

"These young men in Winnfield get that, and I think others in this country will learn from their example."

Read more at The News-Star.


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