Army couple flew Apache helicopters in Afghanistan - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Army couple flew Apache helicopters in Afghanistan

Elizabeth and Jacob Marceaux. (KPLC) Elizabeth and Jacob Marceaux. (KPLC)

Elizabeth and Jacob Marceaux are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In fact, they met in Iraq.

"We didn't like each other at first though," said Elizabeth.

Why? 

"Well, I think it's mostly because it's an attack helicopter and there's not a lot of females doing it.  I think he was a little thrown off because it was all males in the unit before I showed up.  So maybe until they got to know me and pull my own weight, they just didn't want me there."

"As it turns out, she's one of our top air mission commanders and pilots in command," said Jacob.  "She's really won the respect of our guys and set a good example for other females coming in."

Both have been stellar Apache Helicopter pilots, winning air medals for valor and Jacob has the Bronze Star.  He had a close call when insurgents invaded his base in Afghanistan.

"They hit my aircraft with 16 rounds and ended up shooting us down," recalled Jacob.  "Of course, we jumped out and grabbed our rifles and tried to defend as best we could.  That was bad.  The good part was that Beth got to come see me 3 days after that.  I got time off and Beth got to come see me.  I hadn't seen her in four months."

Being married and fighting a war at the same time can have its challenges when husband and wife are in different parts of Afghanistan.

"I knew what they were going through up there and she knew what we had going on at the Pakistan border," said Jacob.  "So the challenge was not only executing missions, but you're worried about your wife, too.  You're not worried about a fender bender back here.  You're worried about RPG shrapnel taking her aircraft down."

"The war's been going on a long time and leaving your family once, twice, three and four times..it gets harder every time.  Especially with the baby.  You miss the family.  I think that's been the biggest challenge."   

Jacob and Elizabeth say they've lost close friends in the war.  They don't want people to forget that U.S. Soldiers are still dying overseas.

"People don't want to hear about the doom and gloom anymore," said Elizabeth.  "They move on to the next big topic.  But there are still people losing their lives over there.  This is still a war for our nation's good.  We don't see a lot of this.  There's a lot of people getting killed over there and there's never any news about it.  That's a little frustrating."

Jacob Marceaux is a native of Ragley.  Elizabeth is from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  They are stationed at Ft. Bliss in El Paso.

Copyright 2014  KPLC. All rights reserved.

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