Eunice Marine sings from experiences

By Myra Miller

Three years in Afghanistan and Iraq qualify David Thibodeaux to talk about, or more precisely sing about, the war on terror.

His response to the Dixie Chicks song about the storm of criticism that met their vocal opposition to President Bush’s decision to go to war is receiving wide acclaim and lots of air time on radio and web music sites.

Thibodeaux, a corporal who joined the U.S. Marines three months after graduating from Eunice High in May 2003, sings “Not Ready to End the Fight.” A part-time musician and full time soldier, he was picked after the composers of the song saw an Associated Press photo of him holding a guitar in Iraq.

Maj. Deryl Michael and Tim Hernandez, a civilian friend in the music business, wanted an active-duty warrior to sing their response to the Dixie Chicks. And it turned out to be one from Dixie.

Thibodeaux, 23, was home on leave this week, visiting his mother Barbara Bourque, his father, Ray Thibodeaux of San Antonio, Texas, and other family and friends.

Bourque supports her son and his song. She said, “He’s surprised and excited about this. This started as a low-key thing that is really opening up doors for him. It is an opportunity of a life-time.”

She said that her son had always been interested in music and taught himself to play the guitar as a child. His other passion was the military.

Thibodeaux describes himself as a husband, a father, a full-time Marine and part-time musician.

“My wife and I are hard-working, religious, family-oriented, patriotic Americans. To make a contribution to the country and the war effort, I joined the Marine Corps upon my graduation from high school,” he notes on his web site,

His wife is the former Keri Young of Eunice. The couple has a seven-month-old son, Landon. They live in Colonial Beach, Va.

Thibodeaux’s field of service is in Chemical Biological Incident Response Forces). “We respond to anything dealing with chemicals, biological materials, nuclear materials, radiological or high-yield explosives,” the veteran of three war theatres said.

While he brings real-life experience to the question, Thibodeaux doesn’t claim to have the solution to the war issue.

“I certainly don’t pretend to have the solutions to any foreign policy issues. I also know that smart people can look at the same set of facts and events and often reach different conclusions. Anyone who characterizes these very-complicated terrorism and war issues as very easy and simple needs to try to at least try to see the other side of the issue - no matter what side you are on,” Thibodeaux says.

The CD has had more than 100,000 plays from Thibodeaux’s web site and Acadiana radio stations are giving it good play. Thousands have viewed the Eunice native’s music video on YouTube.

His song has become a rallying anthem for the troops, their supporters and those wanting to aggressively fight the War on Terror.” The recording features backing music from members of Toby Keith’s Easy Money Band.

Thibodeaux does not plan to make a career in the military. His enlistment ends in 2011 and his ambition is to work in Wildlife and Fisheries, either in Texas or Louisiana.

Asked if any other songs are in the works, Thibodeaux replied, “Right now with my family and my son, and being an active-duty Marine, it does not leave me much time to pursue a musical career. I don’t see it right now. Maybe later down the road, but not now.”

Portions of this story originally appeared in the Opelousas Daily World and the Marine Corps Times.

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