LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - There are many war heroes in Southwest Louisiana, but few like Douglas Fournet. The Lake Charles native died in the Vietnam War in 1968, while saving the lives of others in his platoon. His younger brother, Rocke Fournet, remembers.
"And he unsheathed his knife and told everybody to take cover," said Fournet. "He went straight to the Claymore. He was in the process of slashing the wires and his body was between the rest of the men in the platoon when it detonated and he was killed instantly."
Five other men were seriously wounded, but no one else died. Now, after years of planning and fundraising, Fournet is being remembered properly. A statue in his memory is being dedicated Saturday, Nov. 9 at Veterans Memorial Park.
Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach says he hopes the statue will challenge area residents to take the responsibilities as American citizens more seriously.
"What we wanted to do was not only honor Doug, but to honor the service of the men and women who serve our country day in and day out," said Roach. "What they have done in the years since 9-11 has just heightened our awareness of that."
"If Doug Fournet was standing here right now, he would say that this is not a Doug Fournet deal," said Rocke. "It's a Vietnam veterans deal. And also a veterans deal, combat veterans."
Veterans of all the wars are expected at the statue's dedication this Saturday