Former Welsh Police Chief Lawrence Boudreaux was recently awarded the Legion of Honor.
It’s France’s most prestigious military and civil honor. It’s also one of many military commendations he’s received.
This week’s 90 Plus shares the story of a life well lived.
Boudreaux says he was raised in Church Point with eight brothers and sisters.
Eventually the family moved to Pine Island.
“When we moved to Pine Island daddy bought a farm,” he said.
Lawrence says he left school in the fourth grade to work on the family farm.
“Those were hard days. It’s not like that now. It’s easy days,” he said.
In 1943, he was drafted into the war.
His first mission was the invasion of Normandy where he was wounded along with 14 others.
“When we hit the beach, that shell got me in both legs. I couldn’t walk. They had to put me on a stretcher to a tent until the next morning to ship me back to England.”
Then there was Holland. His battalion he says was positioned behind enemy lines to secure bridges for their troops to cross.
“It was 73 days on the front line,” Boudreaux said.
And then it was Battle of the Bulge in Belguim.
“We were surrounded for six days with snow about a foot high.”
After the war, he fell in love ad got married.
Boudreaux said he and his wife had two wonderful daughters.
He was a farmer for two decades before pivoting to a career in law enforcement.
“I had a enough of that and went to Welsh and started working for the police department,” he said.
Recently, the town of Welsh presented Lawrence with the 2019 Citizen of the Year Award.
“I went eight years as a patrol man and made chief for five and a half years.”
In addition to the Legion of Honor from France, Boudreaux has 16 other military accommodations including two Presidential Citations, the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
Lawrence says he merely traveled the path before him. When duty called he responded. He says he hopes others will do the same.
“If our country gets attacked, support our country,” he said.