I had another post in mind for today but I’m suffering with the worst summer cold I’ve ever had in all my 46, almost 47 years. As sick as I am, I just couldn’t let the day to go by without telling this story again. Some of you who might not have been here last year and read about who I remember on Memorial Day. The original post can be found here.
Do you really know what Memorial Day is, how it came to be?
There are many different ideas of where it originated, what city it was first observed, etc. Hopefully we all know it’s more than just a day off from work, a day to enjoy beer and barbeque with friends and the start of Summer. It’s remembering those who bravely gave their lives in service to our country. Sometimes it’s in the midst of battle. Sometime it happens in a way you’d never in your life imagined. Let me tell you a story about one of those unbelievable occurrences.
Born: January 17, 1973 in Louisiana
Died: February 17, 2006, Djibouti
1st Lt Brandon R. Dronet of Erath, Louisiana was a 2002 graduate of LSU who was your typical good country boy who was trying to do the right thing and wanted to serve his country. He married his high school sweetheart from Henry High School, Summer Landry. They eventually had four children. Brandon loved being in the Marines and he enjoyed life. At his officers commissioning ceremony, Brandon was presented a key to the city of Abbeville.
Unfortunately, Brandon was killed at age 33 when two CH-53 helicopters crashed into the Gulf of Aden in the vicinity of Ras Siyyan, northern Djibouti, while flying a training mission in the Godoria Range area. He was survived by his wife, Summer, their children, Dustin, Kourtnie, Cody, and Madeline; his parents, Catherine Montet and Gene Dronet and a brother, Clint Dronet. He was preceded in death by his brother John.
Why this story– what makes it more important to share with you than any other? Because Brandon was my cousin. We are the same generation - his grandmother and my grandmother were sisters. In fact, I was born on his mother’s birthday.
So on this Memorial Day while remembering all those who gave their lives for their country, I especially remember Brandon.
Thank you to all the veterans out there.
As the song says, “All gave some, but some gave all.”