Minden Press-Herald

Wednesday
Oct 01st

Ken Cochran, Local World War II Hero, Honored

SarahHudsonPierceauthorI am constantly amazed and awe-struck by how a chain of events leads from one event to another causing things to happen that could only be a part of a divine plan.

These "chance" happenings are far more than coincidences. In fact my life has been guided by such events that I call "God Wink" experiences.

Any way, back in 1999 I interviewed Kenny and Kaye Cochran on my Cable Vision talk show about their houseboat touring business on Caddo Lake because I have always been fascinated by living on the water.

Long story short, I found their story in The Shreveport Times and called and invited them to be my guests for an interview, not knowing that Kenny was a nephew to Earl and Alice Cochran Williamson of Vivian who were long time friends.

Immediately they gave me that detail enriching the interview as Kenny proudly talked about his dad, Ken Cochran, who is the author of a book about the Caddo Indians. That peaked my interest because writing gave us a common bond.

By 2001, I moved to Caddo Lake just a mile or so from their lake house, another "chance" happening.

In 2011 Kenny brought his dad to church at Vivian and introduced him to me at a fellowship meal telling him that I could help him with his books which led me to working with him on his writing.

In April of 2013, Ken gave me a copy of his Time To Remember complete with a cover photo by Darrell L. Chitty of Bossier City who incidentally also happened to be a former classmate with me at Harding University. I didn't know that when I called him in 1996 for a photo session for the cover of my Turning Points book published that same year (one more God Wink story).

The cover photo for Ken's World War II book captivated me because a picture is worth more than a thousand words which led to a number of experiences including the publication of that book which led to a KTBS interview by Rick Rowe for Ken. Also it led to book signings and two radio interviews by Red River Radio in Shreveport which airs on nationally heard on NPR radio station.

The chain of events led me to become Ken's agent who sends out his columns to newspapers including the Shreveport Times and The Tennessean in Nashville.

This led to Linda Lynn, member of the Frances Rebecca Harrison Chapter in Vivian to see the story while visiting in Nashville even though she missed it in the Times as well as the Caddo Citizen.

This goose chase almost makes me dizzy and also shows me there is a divine plan in it all because more is to follow.

In September, Linda Lynn contacted Senator David Vitter to issue a proclamation in Washington, DC to have flag flown over the Capitol building in honor of Ken Cochran who just happens to be the last surviving member of the Ninety-Eighth Bomb Squadron.

On Monday, November 11 Captain Ken Cochran was honored in the Vivian Museum by the DAR. The ceremony was enhanced by the introduction by his grandson Lieutenant Kipper Cochran who is in the military in Colorado.

These honors mean a lot to the family as well as Ken but knowing him like I do he is humbled by it all and doesn't strive for publicity. It just happens to come his way because he has a led a remarkable life wearing many hats including and no more important to him than being a Christian.

He is a Christian at the core of his life and is a licensed minister as well as serving as deacon, elder and missionary in Panama helping to build the largest churches of Christ there.
In defining Mr. Cochran I would have to keep it simple. He is real. He walks the walk.

He cares. He is there when needed most. He goes the distance not for praise but because it is who he is.

Mac Hobbs, of Vivian, Louisiana is a family friend who has this to say about his favorite person. "The one person I would like to be like more than anyone it is Ken Cochran."

That says a mouthful because their friendship goes back to Mac's father, Marvin Hobbs who invented one of the first duck calls.

Currently we are putting the final touches on his latest book titled Seeing The Unseen: Bridging The Gap Between The Physical And The Spiritual as well as his Outdoor Experiences which include his legacy of hunting with family and friends.

In addition to that he has more energy and passion for living than anyone I have known. He loves hunting, always kills and preserves his legal limit of deer each year and in fact has already killed the first one with a bow and arrow. He has become known as a poet, author, newspaper columnist, photographer. The list is almost endless and perhaps the most humble person I know.

Having retired as a Caddo Parish principal over thirty years he retired with the honor of Principal of the Year but he quips quite honestly that he failed first grade. When he was allowed to go back home from the war he was offered a top flying job with Delta Airlines which he refused and adds that he wanted to "go back to the wagon yard" and become reacquainted with his bride, Kay, who he was happily married to for forty-two years.

His daughter, Jonesa, is her father's daughter. Also his memory is phenomenal. He is real.

He may think this is over the top but I want to give accolades while I can. We must seize the moment because as he would say "life is made up of interruptions."

Life is not forever. One person can make a difference.

For this knowledge I am grateful because I know Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and Ken would add that "He always gets him to the right place at the right time."

Sarah Hudson Pierce is a Minden native and president of Ritz Publications of Shreveport. Her column runs periodically in the Minden Press-Herald.

 

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