Local Baton Rouge veteran remembers time in service
BATON ROUGE - J.W. Vaughn, a former sailor in the Navy, sat down with News 2's Jessica LeBlanc Wednesday and remembered the days of his service to his country.
"My mind was not segregated. I integrated myself with everything," said Vaughn.
Drafted into the military in 1944, Vaughn served his time toward the end of World War II.
Vaughn spoke of the struggles black soldiers had to endure while serving their country.
"How could that be? How could a great country like America separate people? Especially in the military where they're doing the same job, fighting for freedom," said Vaughn.
But he explained that the prejudices he encountered didn't stop him from moving forward and during that time he learned about how to love in spite of the circumstances.
He comes from a family of men in the military. His father was a soldier in the army during World War I and his brothers served in the marines and army as well.
After his military career, Vaughn pursued a 35-year career in education and served 4 years in state government.
But every November 11, he credits his service in the military with teaching him some important life lessons, like discipline.
"I learned also that you have to stay away from things that are bad. Things that are evil. I learned that in the navy, not in school," quipped Vaughn as he sat on his living room sofa.
Today he spends his time giving back to the community by mentoring young children as well as various other ways and serving in his church.
Vaughn has founded many organizations that are dedicated to giving back to the community, such as The Boys Academy of New St John Baptist Church. He's also the Founder and President of the Lions' Club fund raisers, in addition to many other programs.