John Broussard in base camp on standown, probably April 1970, An Khe.

 

John Broussard in April 1970 on LZ Niagara, in our bunker.
He's holding up his most prized possession, from his Care Package from The World ---- Shoe String Potatoes!!

 

 

John B. Broussard

Oct 19, 1949- May 3, 2000

 

I really don’t know where to start talking about John Broussard. He was definitely one of a kind and a very good friend.
I first made John’s acquaintance in Jan-Feb 1970 when he joined B Co 1-22. He was assigned to Sgt Buenzle’s squad,
which was the squad I was also in. I already had a couple of months in country, so I was the old timer and he the FNG.

  John possessed the most irrepressible personality that I think I’ve ever encountered. You simply could not keep the man down. No matter how bleak or desperate the situation, John immediately seized on the humor or the irony in it.
Nothing seemed to bother him. His infectious grin and his ability to laugh in the face of adversity were beacons in the night.

  John was very proud of his Louisiana birth right and his Cajun heritage. He reveled in being called Coon Ass,
or often we called him John Henry. I actually thought Henry to be his “real” middle name until I, sadly, found his name on the Social Security Death Index, and saw his middle initial as B. I guess he liked the southern, or Cajun,  sound of John Henry.
It does have a nice ring to it.

  John never shirked a duty nor dodged a task. If it was his time to pull guard, you could bet he’d pull his shift.
He never failed to amaze us at the massive ruck sacks he humped, which I’m sure on many an occasion, if not always,
out weighed him. He was a man you could count on at all times, whether pulling that guard duty in the wee hours of the morning
or when engaged in a firefight, or simply keeping the slack out when humping that massive ruck up another of the endless mountains in the Central Highlands. If it was his turn to hump squad extra’s, such as the shovel, hump it he did.
And dig with it when we stopped.

  John was a good man, a good soldier, and a good friend. I truly regret that I never made contact with him after Vietnam.
By the time I started looking, it was too late. My loss.

  I’ll never forget him. Rest in peace John.

  James Henderson --- Jan,2004

John Broussard on the left, and James Henderson on the right, April 1970 stand down in An Khe.
Note the bandage on John's arm. He had a really bad case of jungle rot. He was glad, he thought it funny,
he hoped it would keep him out of the field.
Of course, it didn't. But, that was OK too.
No problem GI.

All photos courtesy of James Henderson


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