More than 42 years after heroic Vietnam War action as a combat medic, Patterson native Earl Brannon received the nation’s third-highest award for valor, the Silver Star, during the annual reunion of the Americal Army Division in Atlanta.
Now 64 and retired, Brannon will be riding in the Patterson High School homecoming parade and attending the school’s pep rally today.
The parade begins at the shopping center on Main Street and follows that road to the high school. There, the school’s booster club will serve chicken gumbo in the school cafeteria. After the meal, there will be a pep rally in the school gym. Following the pep rally, Brannon and his wife Vicki will attend a bonfire in front of the school.
Friday is Patterson High’s homecoming game against Jeanerette High School, something the former 155-pound PHS tackle said he’s looking forward to.
Prior to the start of the 7 p.m. game, Parish Councilman Steve Bierhorst will present Brannon with a Key to the Parish and Patterson Mayor Rodney Grogan will give him a Key to the City.
On March 2, 1970, Brannon entered a minefield to treat a soldier who had detonated a well-concealed enemy booby trap and was severely injured. While treating his comrade, Private Brannon was severely wounded when a second well-concealed explosive device was triggered. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he denied himself medical attention until his fallen comrade was treated.
Brannon returned home from the Army, and he and his wife, Vicki, a Berwick native, resumed civilian life. The 1966 Patterson High School graduate worked for a year selling insurance for Frank Guarisco, but ended up employed at Kerr-McGee for 20 years.