Gov. Jindal Awards Veterans Honor Medals here Monday
Paul Kedinger ~ Managing Editor
Monday, Governor Bobby Jindal awarded 204 veterans from Acadia Parish with the Louisiana Veterans’ Honor Medal during ceremonies in the Rayne Civic Center’s Ballroom
Governor Jindal was joined by Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) Secretary Lane Carson and Major General Bennett C. Landreneau, Adjutant General of the Louisiana National Guard, to award the state’s veterans with a special medal in honor of their service in the Armed Forces.
They were joined on stage by
Rep. Jack Montouchet, Police Jury President A.J. Credeur, Rayne Mayor Jim Petitjean, Church Point Mayor Roger Boudreaux, Father Richard Wagner, S.J.J. and two Rayne High students who sang The Star Spangled Banner, Raven Credeur and Amy Picard.
The local officials and RHS students formed a line to offer their congratulations to the veterans after they received their medals from Gov. Jindal.
Governor Jindal said, “Our brave veterans were willing to answer the call of duty in defense of freedom and liberty – and they never asked for anything in return. In appreciation of their service and sacrifice, we’re awarding these honor medals as a symbol of our deep respect and gratitude.”
Governor Jindal signed legislation in 2008 to create the Veterans’ Honor Medal Program in order to recognize and honor all of Louisiana’s veterans. The program is managed by the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs. The Veterans’ Honor Medal is gold-plated and comes with a blue ribbon. One side shows the state of Louisiana with “United States” embossed above and “Armed Forces” below.
The other side bears the words, “Louisiana appreciates your service to our country.” Veterans who sustained a wound in battle will receive an honor medal designated by a silver star and a purple ribbon. Families of veterans who were killed in action will receive an honor medal designated by a gold star and a gold ribbon.
While awarding the medals, Governor Jindal told stories of medal recipients to highlight the heroic acts of Louisiana’s veterans. Sidney Credeur was born and raised in Rayne. He worked as a farmer until he answered the call of duty and joined the U.S. Army.
In 1970, he served as an infantryman in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Credeur vividly remembers the mission that changed his life. His unit was searching for enemy forces and they unfortunately walked into an ambush and came under fire from enemy soldiers.
Credeur was shot in his right arm and a number of other soldiers in his unit were also wounded or killed. While Credeur and the rest of the unit were trying to recover, another U.S. military unit caught up to them and took out the enemy soldiers.
Credeur and the others were evacuated by air transport. He was not able to continue fighting because of his injury. Credeur said he owes his life to the U.S. soldiers that caught up to them that day.
Because of his brave and heroic acts, he was awarded the Purple Heart. After several surgeries, he still did not have full use of his arm. Upon honorable discharge from the service, Credeur returned to Rayne to continue farming. He married his wife Barbara and they raised five sons.
Credeur worked as a farmer for ten years before his war injury made his daily work too difficult to continue – so he retired in 1982. Today, Sidney and Barbara live in Rayne. He says he is happy spending his days with the love of his life as they anxiously await the birth of their sixth grandchild.
While praising the large audience of veterans and their families, Mayor Petitjean also invited Gov. Jindal to attend church in Rayne, complimented him for his church visits throughout the state in the face of criticism.
Rep. Montouchet reminded the veterans that the Louisiana Legislature opened the state’s five veterans home to all eligible veterans and passed legislature to aid veterans opening businesses.
Veterans Secretary Carson, who served as emcee, spoke of the $14 million Acadia veterans receive annually.