NATCHITOCHES – Honorary Captains who performed the coin toss for Northwestern State University’s Oct. 13 football game were Sergeant Steven Newbury, U.S. Army Retired, and Second Lieutenant Taimata Luafalemana. Northwestern State University’s Department of Military Science and Demon Battalion has a tradition of welcoming and recognizing active and retired servicemen and women prior to all home athletic events.
Newbury served 10 years in the Army Transportation Corps and as a gunner during his three years in combat. In 2006-2008, he was deployed with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Third Corps, Fort Hood, to Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq. He returned to Iraq in 2010 – 2011 and served in Basra with Fort Riley’s First Infantry Division, the Big Red One. He was medically discharged in December 2012. Newbury’s hometown is Junction City, Kansas, but he and his wife Jennifer now call Robeline home.
Luafalemana is one of the U.S. Army’s newest officers, having commissioned as a second lieutenant through NSU’s ROTC program on Oct. 12. Luafalemana graduated from Northwestern’s Leesville/Fort Polk campus and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Mass Communication and a Minor in Military Science. After completing the Quartermaster Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Lee, Virginia, she will be assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado.
A Cadet Scholar, Lieutenant Luafalemana was a member of the National Honor Society and listed on the honor’s and dean’s lists. She earned a 3-year Advanced Designee ROTC Scholarship and served on the Demon Battalion Ranger Challenge and Color Guard Teams. Second Lieutenant Luafalemana hails from Honolulu, Hawaii.