(KLFY) — A father and son are preparing to deploy to the Middle East with the Louisiana National Guard.
It won’t be the first time either of them has answered the call of duty.
“When I deployed in 1990, he was a baby, couldn’t even roll over, and being the great son he is, the day after I left, he rolled over for the first time and then when I came home, he was walking.”
Colonel Scott Desormeaux deployed with the Marine Corps Reserves for Operation Desert Storm.
33 years later, he commands the more than 3K soldiers in the 256th infantry brigade combat team of the Louisiana National Guard.
His son, Staff Sergeant Adam Desormeaux is a staff sergeant in the Breaux Bridge unit.
“It’s a blessing and a curse to have a dad in the military. The curse is that anybody who knows him takes that out on me.’
Both men exude pride and passion for the guard and the opportunity to serve as citizen soldiers.
“These soldiers may volunteer at church, at schools, be coaches, the principle, the teachers and we’re leaving and so that community comes with us because we touch so many in the community so when we leave it really has an impact.”
Scott is an occupational therapist by profession. He and his wife Catherine own ,Med-Excel in Abbeville and Youngsville.
Adam works in investigations at the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Department, and leads the swat team.
In a matter of weeks, Scott will deploy for the fourth time, Adam for the second.
“I have a little bit more to miss this go round.”
Adam wasn’t married for his first deployment. Now he has a wife and three children.
Scott and Catherine are the parents of six and the years of being married to a national guard soldier and having lived through previous deployments, has given her an understanding of what they go through.
“To figure out how to leave your family, but also your job and then kinda plucked back into that.”
And 2020 has been challenging for the 256th. The brigade has been activated for response to COVID-19 and no less than six tropical systems since February.
“So that has made this year even more difficult because in every other one of those deployment years, you’re mentally preparing yourself for that deployment. The soldiers this year, they haven’t been able to.”
Scott recognizes the demands that have been put on his brigade, and his command team is focused on making sure they are taken care of while executing their mission.
“Of course there is inherent danger that exists in what we’re going to do, and no commander ever wants to see any of his soldiers hurt or even worse, but this is part of our job.”
Adam believes the time they spent as an E-3 benefits the soldiers in their command.
“At his level he understands that feeling of having started there first, that these two men will leave their families soon for another federal mission overseas, but hearing “thank you for your service” makes them uncomfortable.”
“You wouldn’t thank a doctor because that doctor is doing what he loves doing and to be thanked for doing something that I love more than anything.”
“I feel like I haven’t earned the right because you always look up to the people ahead of you at the WW2 generation, the Vietnam generation, that’s in my mind what’s a veteran. Those are the people we feel like deserve our thanks.”
They will leave within the next month and not return until late 2021.