Three veterans of different generations were asked to share their experience serving in the military.
The only common thread needed is the word “veteran” and the fact that they all call Gueydan their hometown.
Joseph Bishop can recount what it was like during the Berlin Airlift, the Bay of Pigs, the Vietnam Conflict, the Korean War and the Suez Canal just to name a few of the military operations he was a part of.
Closing in on his discharge, Bishop was faced with the question to get out or to stay in. He weighed the options and the opportunities and eventually decided to re-enlist - it was a good decision. He stated the economy and the job opportunities in the U.S. during these times were not good thus making his military career turn out to be the right choice for himself and his family.
Lloyd Suire left Gueydan at the age of 21. He was married and with a baby on the way. Like Bishop and many others, Suire enlisted in the military as not to get drafted. By enlisting, soldiers were able to choose not only which branch they wished to serve in but had a part of the decision about which field their area of expertise would best suit. Both Bishop and Suire were in Military Aircraft Maintenance and Repairs, Bishop in the AirForce and Suire in the Army.
Suire and his family soon had to cope with his deployment. He landed in Vietnam in 1970, with the war becoming ever more controversial as was being shown on T.V., Suire admits that his parents on one hand were very proud of him, but on the other hand were not happy he was being deployed to Vietnam. Landing in Vietnam one thing that struck Suire was the sight of the armed military in such vastness. Suire was able to use his first language, French, to communicate with the older Vietnamese. When asked about the war, Suire was hard pressed to agree with the authorities that called it a necessary operation. In fact, he wasn’t even sure why he was there but was happy to have served his country nonetheless.
Scott Vallo, the youngest of the veterans, enlisted in the National Guard and on October 31, 2004 found himself a solider in the battlefields of Iraq. Of the three men, Vallo was the only one to speak of the horrors he faced.
He stated, “the first time that we where attacked, at first I was very worried about the ‘what if’ but after a few seconds you catch your head an you do what you where trained to do. And as a side note, it was nothing like the movies, there was no music playing in the back ground and it didn’t happen in slow motion”.
Vallo stated that he liked to keep candy and toys on hand as a great way to connect with the Iraqi children. He had a hard time communicating with the older civilian found it easier with the children. He states he felt compelled to communicate with the children, letting them know that they were safe. And he felt they were the reason he was there was to secure their safety. After all, they would be the future of Iraq.
There are thousands of stories like the aforementioned three from all across the United States. These are simply three examples of heroes that served their country without questioning ‘why?’ These people didn’t ask for medals or fame. They simply did what they thought was right.