A day worth celebrating

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 19, 2014

By Monique Roth

RESERVE – As adults age, lavish birthday parties are seldom thrown and excitement is sometimes hard to come by when faced with adding another year to the tally. But when you turn 100, it calls for a big celebration.

Valerie Freeman, a resident at the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve, turned 100 yesterday and celebrated on Feb. 15 with a huge party.

Freeman is an Army Word War II veteran who served in the Women’s Army Corps as a cook and a butcher.

While serving our country, Freeman received the Good Conduct Medal, the Victory Ribbon and the Women’s Army Corps. Service Medal Ribbon.

Born in Belle Rose, Freeman was married to Albert Freeman for 45 years. They had no children. Freeman’s first job was packaging sugar for Godchaux Sugar Refinery, and she later worked at a dry cleaner for 25 years.

One of 10 children, Freeman was joined at the party by her only surviving sibling, her 95-year-old brother Wilson Daigle Sr.

At the party, Veteran Council President Guy Engolio read Freeman a congratulatory letter from Sen. David Vitter’s office and presented her with a plaque.

Engolio said he was sure that in her 100 years Freeman had seen many beautiful sights, but that none were as beautiful as the person she was.

St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom presented Freeman with a proclamation from the parish.

Sonya Hebert, recreation director at the home, organized the grand party that included performances by Tee Nah Nah Band and New Orleans marching group Shady Ladies. Jambalaya, king cake and birthday cake were served at the party where residents, family and friends packed into cafeteria to celebrate Freeman’s milestone birthday.