CARVILLE, La. – Louisiana Army National Guardsman Cpl. Gordon M. Hanson of Lafayette, La., was honored at Louisiana State University's Alex Box Stadium, Feb. 22, during the Tigers' afternoon baseball game.
Hanson, 23, waved from the first-base line at the top of the third inning as his military accomplishments were announced to the crowd.
Hanson, a member of the 165th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion from Bossier City, La., returned home on Christmas Eve after a 12-month deployment to Camp Taji, Iraq. The former infantryman, who is now an administrative specialist, volunteered to deploy with the 165th CSSB.
"I am so proud of my son," said Hanson's mother, Eileen Hanson. "He joined the Guard and volunteered to deploy and serve because he felt that he had a promise to uphold to his father, who passed away when he was 17."
LSU recently implemented the Sunday Salute to honor Louisiana Soldiers for their achievements at LSU baseball games, with softball games to follow in the coming months. "We want a way to show our thanks," said Guy B. Gaster, the director of marketing for LSU.
Hanson expressed his appreciation for the honor after receiving a standing ovation from the crowd and handshakes from baseball players and coaches.
"That was awesome! It really means a lot to be honored for just doing my job," said Hanson, who has been able to return to school in Lafayette full-time after the deployment.