Veterans Day grand marshal honored for treating wounded soldiers in Vietnam War

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Veterans Day is a time to remember those who not only fought for our country, but helped bandage the wounds of our soldiers. WGNO's Adam Bowles has a story about a local woman who used to be a Vietnam war nurse who put others before her self.

The weather may have been dreary on Friday, But inside the knights of Columbus Hall in Metairie,  Mrs. Charlene Ellender is in good spirits. "I am so excited but I am nervous all at the same time," Ellender says.

She may not like the camera that much, but looking at what she has conquered in her past; she deserves all the recognition she can get. "My guys to me are the heroes," Charlene says.  "Nurses, all we did was just do our job and take care of them."

She remembers her job vividly, tending to wounded and sick soldiers during the Vietnam War starting in 1967. She even had to witness some soldiers who did not make it through the war.

"They were the ones that were out there doing the fighting and protecting our freedoms", Charlene says.

What better way to honor a woman like this, than to have her own parade. "Charlene is significantly shorter and smaller than me in stature,'' John Fitzmorris says.  "But, when it comes to dedication, bravery, and heroism; she is ten feet taller than anybody that will be at that parade tomorrow."

The next day when the skies cleared up, it became a reality. She became the grand marshal at the Lakeview Veterans Day parade.

"Remember, they have families at home to mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, so don't diss them when they come back, thank them," Charlene says.

Charlene Ellender is the president of the Vietnam Veterans chapter 553 here in the New Orleans area.







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