LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Legislation to rename the Lake Charles Community-Based Outpatient Clinic after a U.S. Army first lieutenant from Kinder has been introduced by U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, John Kennedy, and U.S. Representative Clay Higgins.
Douglas Fournet gave his life in the Vietnam War and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1970. Fournet is the only individual from Southwest Louisiana to be awarded the Medal of Honor. The legislation would rename the CBOC the “Douglas Fournet Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic."
Fournet was born on May 7, 1943. He attended McNeese State University in Lake Charles before joining the U.S. Army in 1966. Two years later, First Lieutenant Fournet was serving as rifle platoon leader of the 2nd Platoon, Company B. In the A Shau Valley of Vietnam, the platoon came under sniper fire. With an enemy claymore mine in the way of the platoon’s advance, First Lieutenant Fournet ordered his men to take cover. He then ran uphill to the mind, attempting to disarm it with a knife. Before he could succeed, the mine was detonated.
“Medal of Honor recipient and Louisiana native Doug Fournet made the ultimate sacrifice to our nation in the Vietnam War,” said Sen. John Kennedy. “He charged into danger to cut the control wires on an enemy mine and lost his life acting as a human shield for other soldiers. It is only right that we honor his courage and valor by naming the Lake Charles VA Clinic after him. First Lt. Fournet died an American hero, and the state of Louisiana will always commemorate and honor him.”