This man is on my website. He served in the same division my husband was in - - 2nd Platoon Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Calvary, 1st Cavalry Division (although John was in 1st Platoon). I hope that anyone who lives near this area will turn out for the dedication on October 6, 2001.
I-210 stretch to be named for hero from Vietnam War
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Fournet, Infantry, distinguished himself in action while serving as rifle platoon leader of the 2nd Platoon, Company B. While advancing uphill against fortified enemy positions in the A Shau Valley, the platoon encountered intense sniper fire, making movement very difficult. The right flank man suddenly discovered an enemy claymore mine covering the route of advance and shouted a warning to his comrades. Realizing that the enemy would also be alerted, 1st Lt. Fournet ordered his men to take cover and ran uphill toward the mine, drawing a sheath knife as he approached it. With complete disregard for his safety and realizing the imminent danger to members of his command, he used his body as a shield in front of the mine as he attempted to slash the control wires leading from the enemy positions to the mine. As he reached for the wire the mine was detonated, killing him instantly. 5 men nearest the mine were slightly wounded, but 1st Lt. Fournet's heroic and unselfish act spared his men of serious injury or death. His gallantry and willing self-sacrifice are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
BATON ROUGE -- The late 1st Lt. Doug Fournet, the only person from Southwest Louisiana to be awarded the distinguished Congressional Medal of Honor, will have a stretch of interstate highway named after him.
Sen. Willie Mount, D-Lake Charles, proposed the name change through a bill that has passed through both the Senate and House.
On Thursday, the House voted 96-0 in favor of the bill which now goes to the governor for his signature.
SB 228 renames a 12.5-mile stretch of Interstate 210 through south Lake Charles -- from Interstate 10 exit 34 to I-10 exit 25 -- the Doug Fournet Memorial Parkway.
According to Mount, many local residents came to her asking for the legislation in hopes of keeping Fournet's memory alive.
"This is a unique honor, because there is no one that I can recall who has had a highway named in their honor in Southwest Louisiana," Mount said.
Fournet was killed in combat in 1968 while serving in Vietnam.
A native of Kinder and former member of the Lake Charles Police Department, Fournet was given the Medal of Honor posthumously by President Richard Nixon.
Fournet, 24 years old at the time of his death, was serving as a rifle platoon leader of the 2nd Platoon Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Calvary, 1st Cavalry Division in the Republic of Vietnam when he was killed.
He died instantly while attempting to detonate a mine under enemy fire, saving five fellow soldiers.
A park in Kinder has already been named in honor of Fournet.
Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach, the City Council, members of the Southwest Louisiana legislative delegation and local resident Doug Ragusa were all in support of the name change.