Local WWII veteran inducted into the “Order of Living Legends”


HENDERSON, La – Major Addy Melancon, 99, was celebrated Sunday for his life of military service at his family home in Henderson.

Surrounded by family and friends, Melancon told KATC he was proud of his time in service – six years in the U.S. Army, starting when he turned 17 in 1940, followed by an additional 18 years in the Guard. national.

“I am proud to say that I have served this sentence,” said Melancon. “Not everyone can say that, there isn’t much left that I know of.”

Melancon has been recognized and awarded by government officials such as State Representative Mike Huval (R-District 46), but one particular honor has been named “living legend” by the Musée acadien d’Erath.

Warren Perrin is the Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. He told KATC that many veterans like Melancon don’t like to be recognized for their service and see it more as an obligation than a pride.

“It brings us a spirit of pride to have used this Cajun language which was against the law to speak in public buildings or schools in Louisiana for over 50 years,” Perrin said. “But these men who served proved it to be an invaluable resource that helped us win the war.”

Melancon is the last living member of his team, the 26th Recon of the United States Army. He credits the sharing of cigars and brandy as the reason he ended up being stationed in Europe rather than elsewhere.

Using his native Cajun French, he served as an interpreter for army generals. He also said he was a member of the longest armored training in wartime history in which his outfit had covered 186 miles in a single day – training that he humbly noted he often led. .

Melancon’s great-granddaughter Emily Hardy was in attendance at Sunday’s celebration. She told KATC that her great-grandfather was a major role model for her on her journey, as she said she was following in her footsteps and making progress to work in the National Guard at 22.

“He and I are like the only ones in our family who have truly pursued a military career,” said Hardy. “So it just felt like somebody, you know, was carrying on their legacy and I felt like I was a good fit for that.”

Melancon said he fully supports Hardy’s career choice and sees himself very much in her.

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