Mar 31, 2010 7:04 PM by Letitia Walker
Today, Governor Bobby Jindal awarded 771 veterans from Lafayette Parish with the Louisiana Veterans' Honor Medal at the Louisiana National Guard Armory in Lafayette. Governor Jindal was joined by Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) Secretary LaneCarson 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.
Governor Jindal said, "These medals represent our deep respect and gratitude for the brave men and women who were willing to put their lives on the line in defense of justice, liberty and our way of life."
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. Lloyd King, Jr. was born in New York. He joined the Army in 1967 because he wanted to serve his country. During his first tour of duty, he served in South Vietnam as a Combat Infantry Squad Leader and Platoon Sergeant with the 101st Airborne Division.
On one mission, King was leading a search and destroy mission to ambush enemy soldiers in South Vietnam. Although it was difficult to see through the dense fog that surrounded him, King and his squad members knew the enemy was camped around 1,000 meters in front of his unit.
In an effort to ambush the enemy at the right time, King and his unit camped in the misty conditions overnight. When morning came, King began to help his squad members gather up their artillery. As he instructed them, an enemy sniper positioned in a tree above shot at the unit and a bullet grazed King's head, knocking him unconscious.
Later as he slowly regained consciousness, he realized that the sniper was still positioned to take fire. King knew if he moved, the enemy soldier would realize he was still alive and fire, possibly shooting at his fellow squad members as well. In excruciating pain, Lloyd signaled to his squad members to take fire into the trees and take down the enemy soldier. They shot the sniper and retrieved the gun that King was shot with, which he still has today.
Throughout his military service, King was wounded in action four times. He was awarded two Purple Hearts for the wounds he received on the battlefield, along with the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and two Air Medals. After finishing active duty, he moved to Lafayette, Louisiana and became a safety director in the oil and gas industry and married his wife Paula.