September 14, 2011 - Whitney Baccigalopi - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

September 14, 2011 - Whitney Baccigalopi

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Mr. And Mrs. Whitney Baccigalopi are survivors.  They went through hurricanes Audrey, Rita and Ike, and they're not leaving Cameron Parish.  They lost their home in Rita, but they are now back at home in Grand Chenier. 

"We came back and we stayed," said Baccigalopi.  "It's home now.  I got a yard full of chickens and geese and ginnies and ducks.  I'm enjoying it."

Whitney Baccigalopi served in the combat engineers in the Phillipines during World War II.  He helped re-build that country after the war and supervised Japanese prisoners of war.

"They could speak pretty good English, the biggest bunch of them.  When they left to go back home, they were some happy people.  To go back and see their family." 

Baccigalopi returned home and eventually went to work at the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.  He was one of the men instrumental is re-establishing the brown pelican population in Louisiana.

"We didn't have no more brown pelicans.  That was our state bird.  So, for 10 years we'd go once a year to Florida and pickup 100-125 at a time and bring them back to Louisiana."

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