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‘Brothers in Battle’ observe 50 years since enlistment

Local Vietnam veterans gather on 50-year anniversary

RAYNE - In the summer of 1968 with the images of the Vietnam War shown daily on news telecasts, five local young men enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on the “Buddy Plan”.
The five Rayne High School graduates departed that fall on the first of November for Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California where they remained together for basic training/boot camp.
Later, four of the five would be deployed halfway around the world to Vietnam, including Keith Vienne, Calvin Bouillion, Rheul Hoffpauir and Raylin Alleman where they defended freedom for those who couldn’t.
The fifth buddy, Larry Lagneaux, was part of a new Amtrack Company formed and was stationed in Hawaii where he would transfer soldiers ship to shore.
Through 50 years, the five have remained friends, reuniting over the years for get-togethers and special occasions.
On July 6 of this year, the five came together at the home of Larry and Delores Lagneaux of Rayne where they enjoyed a day of reminiscing and a great Cajun meal.
A meal, provided by family and friends, of crawfish etouffee along with sides, appetizers and dessert was enjoyed by the veterans and guests.
A small group of very close friends also includes two other veterans, Robert Comeaux, a paratrooper in the U.S. Army who was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, and Horace Hoffpauir, another U.S. Marine who is also a Vietnam veteran.
Other guests in attendance were Cheryl Thibodeaux, Gloria Sanchez, Jackie Comeaux, Linda Alleman, Cathy Hoffpauir, Mona Vienne and Delores Lagneaux.
Following a special blessing said prior to the meal, thanks were also given for the safe return of all seven men.
In addition, a candle was lit in memory of fallen comrades and deceased friends who also served during this time.
Special memories were also shared of their dear friend, Perry Meche, who also served in the Marine Corps.
Patriotic picture frames were presented to all seven veterans as a thank you for their service and a keepsake of the special anniversary observance.
Semper Fi !

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