SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - On Thursday, February 18, Louis C. Wells Sr. celebrated his 93 birthday.
Wells has a decorated career in the U.S. Army as a musician. He first got into music at Fort Eustis, Virginia when he was there for basic training.
“So at the end of my basic training, the General, who was the post commander, gave an order that everybody in basic training that are musicians they are going to my band,” Wells said. “So when I finished basic training, rather than go overseas as I was scheduled to do, they sent me to the band.
Wells said that he wanted to go overseas with the people he trained with. However, instead, this was the start of his journey with the U.S. Army Band.
“The military was a tremendous opportunity that I am happy that I took advantage of,” Wells said. “It gave me an opportunity to continue my college education as well as tremendous experience and the places I have served and the commands that I had it was a wealth of experience for me.”
After serving 18 months in Army following the draft, he did his time and came home but couldn’t find any job opportunities in the south during Jim Crow times.
He ended up re-enlisting in the Army and served 31 years.
“I will say this the 18 months I enlisted for, I got out of the Army for just under through months and when I decided to go back in is because there were no rewarding opportunities for me when I got out and came back to Shreveport, Louisiana.”
According to Wells, one of the most important things in anyone’s life is to get an education.
He was encouraged by his mother, who only attended elementary school.
“I would say to young people, get an education, get an education. If you are going to be competitive you are going to have to get an education.”