Ascension honors returning Marines

Staff reports
Shown from left at a recent parish council meeting honoring area Marines, were Council Chairman Pat Bell, Corporal Phillip Daspit, President Tommy Martinez, Lance Cpl. Terrel Mack, Lance Cpl. Patrick Roberts, Lance Cpl. Brandon Cullen, Lance Cpl. Trent Turner, Lance Cpl. Christian Burleigh, Lance Cpl. Aaron Bacala, Parish Councilman and former Marine Oliver Joseph, and Parish Councilman Dennis Cullen, a Navy veteran. In the background are councilmen Adrian Thompson, Dempsey Lambert, Randy Clouatre, Chris Loar, George Valentine, Todd Lambert and Benny Johnson. Not pictured, Councilman Kent Schexnaydre.

Twelve local area Marines were honored for their role in Operation Iraqi Freedom at the Nov. 19 Ascension Parish Council council meeting in Gonzales.

The Marines volunteered to take part in Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment based in Camp Pendleton, Calif. They are usually attached to the 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment in Baton Rouge.

They were deployed in Iraq from Oct. 14, 2008 to Aug. 27.

Three Ascension Parish natives were honored, including Lance Cpl. Aaron Bacala, son of Ascension Parish Chief Sheriff Deputy Tony Bacala; Lance Cpl. Christian Burleigh and Lance Cpl. Trent Turner.

Lance Cpl. Brandon Cullen of Baton Rouge, the nephew of parish Councilman Dennis Cullen, was also honored.

Other honored marines from East Baton Rouge Parish were Lance Cpl. Terrel Mack, Lance Cpl. Patrick Roberts, Lance Cpl. Jason Ross, Lance Cpl. Jonathon McClung, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Edwards, Lance Cpl. Brent Roussel, Corporal Phillip Daspit and Corporal Adam Thibodaux.

The honored received certificates of appreciation from Parish President Tommy Martinez and the Parish Council, and were honored with a patriotic song by Ascension Parish school teacher Pam Gautreaux.

Also honored but not present at the meeting were Lance Cpl. Jason Ross, Lance Cpl. Jonathon McClung, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Edwards, Lance Cpl. Brent Roussel, and Corporal Adam Thibodaux.