Higgins, Cassidy, Kennedy Introduce Legislation to Rename Lake Charles VA Clinic After Medal of Honor Recipient Douglas Fournet
U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), and U.S. Representative Clay Higgins (R-LA) introduced legislation to rename the Lake Charles Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) after Kinder, Louisiana, native Douglas Fournet, a U.S. Army first lieutenant who gave his life in the Vietnam War and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1970. He is the only individual from Southwest Louisiana to be awarded the Medal of Honor. The legislation would rename the Lake Charles CBOC the “Douglas Fournet Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic.”
“The Fournet family fully supports and is honored by the effort by Senators Cassidy and Kennedy and Representative Higgins to name the Veteran’s Facility in Lake Charles, LA after Lt. Douglas B. Fournet,” said the Fournet family. “Doug’s story has always served as a heroic example of sacrifice and selflessness to all of the citizens of Southwest Louisiana. We feel very fortunate to now have a facility in our area where Doug’s story will continue to live on and inspire others, but most importantly, where Veterans can receive quality medical care to repay them for their sacrifices for our Country.”
“Lt. Fournet’s leadership in battle resulted in him sacrificing his life to save fellow soldiers,” said Dr. Bill Cassidy. “Renaming the Lake Charles VA clinic after Lt. Fournet honors his heroism and ensures his bravery is never forgotten. We are proud to join the Fournet family and local veterans in supporting this legislation.”
“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.”
“Lt. Fournet is an American hero deserving of the highest tribute. He served our community and our country as both a cop and a soldier. Lt. Fournet gave his last full measure of devotion, sacrificing his own life to protect his platoon,” said Rep. Clay Higgins. “With the naming of the Lake Charles VA clinic, we honor Lt. Fournet’s legacy and recognize the collective sacrifice of all those who have borne the battle.”
“On behalf of the citizens of the City of Lake Charles, I offer my full support in the naming of the new Lake Charles VA Clinic after the late Medal of Honor Recipient First Lieutenant Douglas Fournet,” said Mayor Nic Hunter. “A Lake Charles native, 1st Lt. Fournet is the premier example of a true American hero. It would be a fitting honor for the Lake Charles VA Clinic to bear his name. On a personal note, 1st Lt. Fournet was my mother’s first cousin. It is not only a great honor to recognize him as a local hero, but also an amazing privilege to call him family.”
“The Department of Louisiana American Legion and its members feel it would be a great honor to have the local VA clinic named for a true hero from the local area,” said Louisiana American Legion Commander Rickey D. Griffin. “Medal of Honor Recipient 1st Lt. Douglas Fournet made the ultimate sacrifice for this country and his comrades. Louisiana Legionnaires and I proudly stand with Senator Cassidy, Senator Kennedy and Congressman Higgins in honoring 1st Lt. Douglas Fournet. For God and Country we serve.”
“Southwest Louisiana veterans, families and friends are honored to support legislation introduced by Senator Cassidy, Senator Kennedy, and Congressman Higgins to rename our Lake Charles clinic after Douglas Fournet,” said Louisiana Veterans of Foreign Wars State Commander Matthew West. “Not only would this recognize his sacrifice, it would provide a perpetual legacy for veterans to reflect on this Medal of Honor Recipient who gave all for his country and his soldiers.”
“It is with great honor that we support legislation to rename the Lake Charles VA Clinic after one of our own Louisiana heroes, Douglas Fournet,” said Disabled American Veterans, Department of Louisiana, Department Adjutant Paul Hermann.
Douglas Fournet was born on May 7, 1943, in Kinder, Louisiana. 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 mine, attempting to disarm it with a knife. Before he could succeed, the mine was detonated.