LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Jerry Bell became interested in traveling the world at an early age, after reading from his grandmother's box of National Geographic magazines.
"As a small kid, I dreamed of going places like the desert and the jungle and the mountains and the big cities. Somebody up there must have been listening because I got to do all that plus a thousand things. I got to work in 65 different countries for my government."
Bell joined the Army when he was 17, serving 2 combat tours in Korea. He eventually spent over 27 years in the military.
"I became a paratrooper, a ranger and a Green Beret. I ended up in an organization called Delta Force. Our job was two-fold. It was to rescue Americans that had been captured by terrorists and also to eliminate terrorists around the world."
He served on 80 missions during his 10 years with the Delta Force. He also served as a police chief and mayor in Dequincy and is a member of the Louisiana Police and Delta Force Halls of Fame.
“You know, we’re blessed to live in this nation. Best nation on earth. I hope our people keep it that way. Because I worked in all those nations that don’t have the same freedoms and rights that we do and it’s kinda sad.”
Bell has put together a collection of his stories over the years in a new book, “Wind Across the Rails.” In it, he highlights going from a orphan child to serving with eight U.S. presidents. The book is available from Wise Publications in Sulphur and at the DeQuincy Railroad Museum.