NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University alumni Michael Wilburn and Capt. Jody Bernard Jr. were honorary captains at Saturday’s football game in Turpin Stadium, following the tradition of the NSU Department of Military Science honoring active and retired members of the U.S. armed services.
Wilburn graduated from NSU in 1975. During his military career, he achieved the rank of Specialist Four and earned the Combat Infantryman Badge during his service in Vietnam. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal, both with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Stars.
Wilburn is a certified financial planner and registered representative for Hilltop Securities Independent Network, Inc. in Shreveport. He is an NSU donor, a member of N Club, and a long-time member of the Demons Unlimited Foundation Board of Directors. He attended the game with his daughter and sons and their families.
As Guardian 6, Bernard commands Company G, 2-4 Infantry “Warrior” Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk. He has served 16 years in the Army with 18 months in combat across three tours of Iraq.
Captain Bernard hails from Cut Off and is a 2012 NSU and NSU ROTC alumnus. He was joined by his wife Rebecca and his father, Jody Bernard, Sr.
Escorts were Lieutenant Colonel Wendell Bender, NSU ROTC Professor of Military Science; and Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Smalley, U.S. Army Retired, Northwestern Demon Regiment Chief of Staff.