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Mississippi sorority hosts ‘last dance’ for WWII Navy Veteran

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk


A sorority at the University of Southern Mississippi saved the last dance for a 92-year-old World War II Navy veteran.

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Members of Phi Mu hosted a dance for Paul Sonnier, who recently told a social work intern at SouthernCare Hospice Services in Hattiesburg that his final wish would be “to dance with a beautiful woman,” WDAM reported.

“He’d always ask me if I wanted to go to Ropers, the local bar,” Jessica Moreau, a social work intern at SouthernCare, told WDAM. “He says ‘I’ll teach you how to jitterbug and the waltz.’”

Moreau, who is a member of Phi Mu, relayed that wish to her sorority sisters. They organized a dance for the ages.

“We as a chapter always like to get involved with the community,” Phi Mu President Cameron Ponder told WDAM. “Since one of our members is a social work major at the University of Southern Mississippi, we just found this to be a great way to honor someone that has done so much for our country.”

Because Sonnier is bedridden, he had to be brought to the dance on a gurney, WDAM reported.

Family members who watched the dance found it heartwarming.

“We’re super grateful, because he hasn’t been out the house in so long,” Sonnier’s granddaughter, Samantha Owen, told WDAM. “All these ‘pretty women’ get to come around him. He gets to hand out flowers and just be himself. He hasn’t been himself for awhile. So, he’s super happy.”

Sonnier said he regretted that he could not get up and dance, but appreciated the gesture.

“It feels good to be with all these beautiful women,” he told WDAM.

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