USS Kidd faces financial problems: downsized fourth celebrations continue
BATON ROUGE, LA(FOX44) — For those who were ready to watch some fireworks from the USS Kidd on the fourth and of course see the mock attack and air raid, you’re out of luck.
The USS Kidd canceled its annual reenactment for security reasons, not to mention their financial trouble.
But that didn’t stop hundreds from coming out to celebrate during their Freedom Festival this Independence Day.
"We assumed that there would be a fly over and cannon shots."
That's what usually happens at the USS Kidd on the 4th of July. It's what Hertley Bergeron and his wife Jessica were hoping for.
"I did say to a few people that it was a bigger set up on the fourth of July than what it was because in the past it has been," said Bergeron.
They traveled to the Capitol City from Houma just to see it, only to find out; there'd been a change of plans. They're not letting it ruin their holiday but they say it's the underlying problem that worries them.
“Having no funds is disgusting we need to start raising money and start dong what we can as veterans to stop this."
“It would be nice if they did have enough money and they shouldn't be struggling because if it wasn't for them we couldn't do half of the celebrations today,” said Jessica Bergeron.
The USS Kidd is in debt and right now the Inspector General is checking out their finances over the past three years but Executive Director Alex Juan says she’s not worried.
"We're having support from all sorts of levels, so even the Inspector General and the audits we’ve been working with have been helping so were really ten steps ahead of anything they will come out with in the findings anyway."
And their "Freedom Festival" was able to continue this year thanks to the help of the community.
"We have supporters coming out that say hey we have no idea you needed help,” said Juan. “Everything that’s happening here today was donated to the kidd, so we’re not spending a dime on it."
But veterans like Bergeron are still worried about the future of the USS Kidd.
"The history is going to the way side because if events like this and reenactments don’t go and stuff like that, the kids wont know the history except for whets in a book."
"We want people to know, the Kidd isn't going anywhere," noted Juan.
The Kidd is also undergoing a safety inspection but there is some good news. Even though they did not have the reenactment this year, Juan says its very possible it will be up and running next fourth.