These Cajun Veterans Are the Reason I’m Here, Here are Their Stories
It's Veterans Day today. As much as I could knock out a simple post about which NFL teams posted thank you videos, or how Michigan State and Gonzaga are playing basketball on an aircraft carrier, I wanted to tell a story about 3 generations of service members in my family.
This is my grandfather, Dallas Terrebonne. I call him Pop. He's a Marine. He served from 1957-1961, in the span of time between the Korean War and the Vietnam War as part of the 2nd Force Recon. 2nd Force Recon was formed as a multi-purpose deep reconnaissance successor to the Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion of World War 2, meaning Pop is the reiteration of the original Marine badass.
Operating as a radio-man, Pop was trained to parachute out of airplanes, ascend from submarines dozens of feet below water without scuba gear, and carry out forward reconnaissance on enemy positions. He spent time in Cambodia and Laos long before the invasions of those countries were ever planned.
When I would ask about combat, as any young boy who knows nothing about war would, he would often tell me that if they had to fire a bullet it meant they had failed and were in serious trouble. His life expectancy in combat would be 6 seconds. He usually left it there.
When on mission, he typically traveled by plane or submarine. As a matter of fact, until a vacation taken long after leaving the service, Pop had never been on an airplane when it landed. He said it felt weird.
This is my uncle, Mike Terrebonne. He's Pop's son. He served in the 1st Tank Battalion attached to Delta Company from 1980-1984. He graduated top of his class in driving school, which I assume is more impressive than me acing my driver's ed test the first time I took it, considering I was driving a Crown Vic and he was driving 5 ton trucks and "deuce-and-a-halves".
Uncle Mike even spent some time as an instructor at that same driving school. He never saw combat, but if he had his life expectancy would have been 4 seconds.
He's also a huge Saints and LSU Tigers fan.
There's one more generation of soldier in this line of brave men.
This is my cousin Jason. He's Uncle Mike's kid. He's a former Navy Rescue Swimmer. He served in the early 2000s, going to boot camp in the Great Lakes in the middle of winter. He eventually ended up attached to a Blackhawk helicopter squadron.
He now has a couple kids of his own. He also golfs, fishes, hunts, and rides sportsbikes.
My great-grandfather Arthur Racki served in Korea. My great-godfather Russell Bouziga, uncle Butch Guillot, and uncle Jimmy Hendrix (yes, I know) all served in Vietnam. My cousins Chuck Hobson, Tommy Wheeler, Mark Wheeler and my grandfather's uncles Edgar, Leo, Lorris, Morris, and George Bouziga are or were all vets. On my father's side, my grandmother's brother, cousin, and four of her uncles served. Some of my more distant cousins served or are actively serving.
Every branch is represented in my family.
My friends Nick, Jack, Seth, and Kaleb are all active duty in different branches, and I would be remiss not to mention them as well.
All of these men and women in my family who paid in time, blood, sweat, and tears to maintain our freedoms to watch buzzer beaters and bet the house on the over. Over 2 dozen individuals.
None of them did it for glory or medals or to have me put their name in some article. They did it because they loved their country and wanted to protect it.
So thank a veteran today, take a bit of time to think about what they sacrificed to keep us free, and then watch some college basketball, or high school football, or Netflix, it doesn't matter.
Just enjoy life and the freedom we have to live it.
Happy Birthday Marines, and Thank You Veterans.