As Veterans Day approaches, it’s a sure bet at least one television channel will pay homage via a war movie marathon, with the film odds against foreign armies stacked something like this: If it’s the Germans or the Japanese, there’s at least a crew of Americans. The Vietnamese rate a squad, and for Serbs, just one battered American pilot is necessary. If it’s Arabs, as in “Courage Under Fire,” we only send Meg Ryan.

We have a tougher time paying tribute to veterans in real life.

Retired Marine Sgt. Maj. and inveterate biker Doug Lyvere is among the exceptions. Lyvere is making a personal pilgrimage to every Vietnam memorial in every state including Alaska in the hope Americans will not forget what we owe. He carries an American flag on the back of his bike, a motorcycle helmet that says Semper Fi and more patches than “Sons of Anarchy.” He is tall and still stands military straight. “It’s hard sometimes,” Lyvere said. “The Vietnam memorials have something different about them. People see the bike and flag, and come over to talk. It’s the ‘welcome home’ we didn’t get.”

Fortunately for Lyvere and all others like him who have served America with dignity in times of war, it’s understood that wherever brave men and women stand their ground, whether at the Alamo, Afghanistan or somewhere in between, their act transcends time and place, squabbling governments or politicians, and, more importantly, John Q. Public.

Though movie directors rarely capture the determination and sometimes despair of a single American soldier, Hollywood does its best to pay tribute.

The rest of us need to take the hint.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at or at

Twenty-Three Skidoo

This really was the cat’s pajamas. The Petroleum Club hosted the Signature Chef’s Gala as March of Dimes returned to the Roaring ’20s. Channel 10’s Blue Rolfes chaired and chef Mark Alleman led the line. “We’ve been doing the event for a few years now, and this time the reins were passed to me,” Alleman said. His seafood bisque was dangerously good, and among the other good guys were French Press, Cypress Bayou, Jolie’s, Agave, Ruffino’s, Village Café, Zea’s and Mark Britz, who donated the custom chef jackets. Looking like the bee’s knees were Fred and Debbie Mills, Sharon Davis, Melanie Martin, Tammy Domingue, emcee Bob Dunn, Bertha Mire, Kelly Mire, Phyllis Weir and the blue topaz pendant up for auction by DeLane’s. What we loved: That the ballroom and guests looked straight out of the Titanic, and Dana St. Amant’s black nylon stockings with real seams down the back.

LPMSA does Tour de Vin

The Lafayette Parish Medical Society Alliance had Champagne curbside downtown, and what better way to tempt guests than a 1-carat diamond in some lucky glass? All were assembled for Tour de Vin, a four-course dinner at French Press to fund a scholarship for an area medical student. Paul’s brought the store with a percentage going to the greater good, and we’re almost certain those $12,000 morganite and aquamarine earrings found a new home. Cocktailing on the curb were event chairwoman Ashley Martin; President Katie Antill; Chris Hare and Jennifer Bodin, of Oncologics; Dana and James Bishara; Jamie and David Joseph; and Tom and Dana LaBorde.

LBA installs Kyle Gideon

Kyle Gideon officially assumed leadership of the bar association while friends and fellow officers celebrated at the Century Club downtown. It was a first-class event from invites to hors d’oeuvres, and adding to the sophistication was wife Monique Gideon, Stacey Knight, Marc and Laura Moroux, Judy Kennedy, proud mother Elizabeth Gideon, brother Guy Rees Gideon, Jacob Groth and Iberiabank’s Jerry and Kay Prejean. We were sorry to leave this one and hope everyone upholds the law as well as Gideon does in society.