Story Summary

In support of our troops

Soldier Death

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 9 updates

When our troops are deployed they don’t have access to basic items that we take for granted, but thanks to the Louisiana chapter of Blue Star Mothers, our troops serving overseas receive care packages of toiletries, reading materials, and snacks.

Blue Star Moms needs funds to ship those packages, which volunteer Janet Scaruffi says are being put together with a lot of love: “Passion for our young men and women who are sacrificing every bit of their bodies, their minds, their souls, their families to keep me in this house, so I can do what I’m doing.”

Blue Star Moms needs a lot of donations to send materials, so if you can helpwould like to help go to their website:

Dominican student Taylor Carrigan thought she was receiving an award for her Patriotism at her high school dance, but gets an even bigger surprise when her father Sgt. Kelly Carrigan shows up.

Sgt. Carrigan has been overseas for months and was sent back to Louisiana after he was injured.

“It was a wonderful gift, a wonderful surprise to be able to see my daughters for the first time and be able to surprise them,” says Sgt. Carrigan.

“I flipped out. I was not expecting that at all. That was crazy. That was amazing,” says an emotional Taylor Carrigan.

Sgt. Carrigan’s second daughter and wife showed up to the dance to witness the surprise. He says they’ll be spending lots of quality time together.

The remains of a soldier who died in a prisoner of war camp in Korea more than 60 years ago are back in Louisiana tonight.
A team excavating bodies from the camp recently identified the remains of Army Sgt. Clement Thibodeaux, Junior.
He was captured in 1951.
His remains arrived in New Orleans this morning .
The “Patriot Guard Riders” provided an escort from the airport to a funeral home in Baton Rouge.
Thibodeaux will be laid to rest in church point next week.


Monday morning, Governor Bobby Jindal joined the friends and family of Christopher Drake, the Louisiana National Guardsman who was killed in Afghanistan over the Memorial Day weekend, for Drake’s funeral.

Jindal told the crowd at the Eagle Heights Community Church in Tickfaw to remember Drake as a hero who gave his life in service for others.

The governor also told the crowd that part of what made Drake a hero was the guardsman’s family.

“To the friends and family that are here, I want to thank you on behalf of a grateful state and a grateful country for raising such a fine young man.  Because heroes aren’t simply born; they are raised, they are formed,” Jindal told the crowd.

He also gave Drake’s family a flag that flew over the Capitol building in Drake’s honor.

Drake was killed when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

A soldier killed in Afghanistan has returned home for the last time. The body of 20-year-old Specialist Chris Drake arrived this morning at the Hammond airport.

Dozens of people lined the road as a procession took his remains from the airport to a funeral home in Livingston Parish. Services will be held next week for the Tickfaw native.

Drake died last Sunday. He was a gunner on a vehicle hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

A soldier from Tickfaw, Louisiana was killed serving our country in Afghanistan.

Spc. Christopher Drake died May 26 when his vehicle was hit by a rocket propelled grenade.

The Louisiana National Guard soldier was assigned to a unit based out of Reserve.

Drake was a gunner on a mine resistant, ambush protected vehicle.

He was 20-years-old.



They’ve been married less than two years, but Army Specialist Dylan David and his wife Kristin are preparing to spend the next ten months apart.  David says, “She’s the reason that I’m still in the Army, that they haven’t gotten rid of me.  She helps keep me squared away and keeps me motivated and keeps my head in the game.  She really is the better half of me.”

He’s deploying to Southern Afghanistan and thanks to photographer Marc Pagani, will have a special memento to bring with him.  As part of a program called Hearts Apart, Pagani is giving the couple a free photo shoot.  He says, “These people tend to not have access necessarily to a great photographer who can take great portraits of them.  So, their loved ones can have these nice portraits to keep while they’re gone to look at and to comfort them a little bit.”

“I think it’ll give him something to remember what he’s working towards.  You know, not only is it ten months of a job, but every day is one day closer to coming back home,” says David’s wife Kristin.  Participating photographers donate their time and Hearts Apart covers the cost of prints.  The families don’t pay a dime.

For more information on Hearts Apart, how you can sign up for photos or how you can help in a variety of different ways, visit


Fallen Marine comes home: honoring Sgt. Michael Guillory

The body of Sgt. Michael Guillory, 28, a Marine from Pearl River who was killed in Afghanistan, is arrived in New Orleans on Thursday.

Friends, family and dozens of others, including sympathetic veterans gathered to welcome home Sgt. Guillory’s body at Armstrong International Airport.

When his body arrived in New Orleans dozens of veterans stood at attention, including Vietnam veteran David Vicknair: “I served three years in Vietnam, three tours. I came home. This soldier is not coming home, and my heart is broken. I feel very sad.”

His body was taken by police escort to Honaker Funeral Home in Slidell, where well-wishers lined Gause Boulevard to remember Sgt. Guillory as the procession passed.

The U.S. Military has not released many details about the circumstances of Sgt. Guillory’s death, except that it happened in Helmand Province, perhaps the most troubled region of Afghanistan, where the Taliban has been making their presence known.

58817469-15133005-400225[1]Saturday morning family and friends of Specialist Christian Romig gathered one last time to say their final farewells to the 24-year-old.

Emotions ran high as the casket of United States Army Specialist Christian Romig was carried out of Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Kenner. Surrounded by family, friends, and veterans the 24-year-old graduate of Grace King High School left us too soon.

Vietnam Veteran James White says, “He’s only a month older than my youngest daughter, that hurt. I’m sitting there and I’m watching this plane pull up on the tarmac there and it’s like, that could be one of mine.”

It was an extraordinary homecoming as his body arrived in Belle Chasse Friday.

Specialist Romig enlisted in the Army in 2008. He fulfilled his commitment in June, but decided to stay with his platoon. Romig was scheduled to return in just weeks.

His father Lee Romig, Sr. remembers, “He was a great soldier, a great son, and from our perspective a true hero.”

Archbishop Gregory Aymond was here this morning paying his respects to Specialist Romig. Also here were many of his sister’s co-workers; she works with us at ABC26 News.

ABC26 Sports Director Ed Daniels says,” You see so much coverage on television and the newspapers and on the radio about the war and you pay attention, but you really don’t pay attention and then it comes home to your neighborhood. You know, it’s a whole different deal.”

Army Specialist Christian Romig was killed on January 5th by an IED while fighting for his country in Afghanistan. Now back in his hometown of Kenner, the 24-year-old will be eternally remembered for who he is a hero.

Army Specialist Christian Romig’s name will be added to a memorial at Veterans Park near Kenner City Hall.