An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Feb. 16, 2011

Kentucky Guardmember returns home, receives Purple Heart

By Misty Maynard Ledger Independent

ABERDEEN, Ohio - A staff sergeant with the 299th Chemical Company of the Kentucky Army National Guard received the Purple Heart Medal from Army Maj. Gen. John Campbell, 101st Airborne Division commander, after returning home recently.

Dennis LeFrancois, a man of few words, is a two-time veteran of war, and he recently returned from Afghanistan where he suffered injuries that earned him a Purple Heart, but when asked why he served, all he can say is that it seemed like the "right thing to do."

When asked about the difficulties of serving overseas, away from family, he will say that he missed them but that he believes the family has it harder because soldiers bond with one another and have their work to keep them busy.

LeFrancois will tell you about his injuries and what happened - a rocket hit the "B huts" or living facilities of the soldiers -- but he does not describe fear, panic or any other emotion.

If you ask him how he's doing now, he simply says, "I'm good."

From 2004-2005, LeFrancois served in Iraq as a mechanic, and after volunteering for the mission in Afghanistan, he was attached to the 2123rd Transportation Company, also serving as a mechanic.

LeFrancois said his absence is a vacation for his wife, while she teased that now that he is home, she has to adjust to his snoring again, but when the tone turns serious, the truth comes out: he is glad to be home, and his wife is glad to have him there.

"I love having him home," she said.

LeFrancois admitted it was difficult being away from home.

"Especially at the holidays," Linda said.

Dennis and Linda typically were able to talk every few days while he was in Afghanistan, but if more than a few days passed, and some news came on the television about an incident in Afghanistan, Linda LeFrancois worried until they were able to talk again.

It was Dec. 30 when LeFrancois was injured and the rocket hit, around 4:30 a.m. as he was making coffee.

LeFrancois suffered injuries to his neck, arm and the side of his knee, but he was able to call his wife to tell her news of the injuries.

Linda said her phone call came at 1:30 a.m.

"He said, 'you need to wake up, I have something to tell you,'" Linda said.

It was midnight on New Year's Eve the next time she heard from her husband that he had undergone surgery and was recovering.

LeFrancois said he went back to work after the injury, completing the final two weeks of service with the unit before packing up to head home.

"He's one of the lucky ones," she said.

LeFrancois has spent some time relaxing and catching up with family, but the downtime won't last long, his wife said.

"He's what you might consider a workaholic," she said. "He gets very fidgety if he can't work."

The company LeFrancois worked for prior to his deployment has closed, but he is optimistic he will find work quickly.

Linda said he got a response from someone while he was overseas about an application he had put in and when the woman learned he was deployed, she said to have him call whenever he was home.

LeFrancois said he would consider volunteering to serve overseas again, however when it comes to military service he advises his children and grandchildren it's not for everyone.

"It takes discipline," he said.

"And you got to believe what you are doing is right."

 

 

Related Articles
The New Hampshire National Guard helped rescue and evacuate a hiker with a broken leg in the White Mountain National Forest May 26, 2024. The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew flew the man to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, N.H.
New Hampshire Guard Medevacs Injured Hiker to Safety
By National Guard Bureau | May 29, 2024
THOMPSON and MESERVE’S PURCHASE, N.H. - The New Hampshire National Guard rescued a hiker with a broken leg in the White Mountain National Forest and evacuated him to a hospital over Memorial Day weekend.The New Hampshire Fish...

U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Arthur Fredericks, the Connecticut National Guard's senior enlisted advisor, presents Rick Maynard a Connecticut World War I Campaign Medal in honor of his great-uncle's service with the 102nd Infantry Regiment in World War I. Sgt. Paul Maynard served with Company M in multiple battles across France and ultimately perished on the last day of the War.
Connecticut World War I Soldier Awarded Purple Heart
By Timothy Koster, | May 29, 2024
GUILFORD, Conn. – A Connecticut National Guard Soldier assigned to Company M, 102nd Infantry Regiment, received the Purple Heart May 24, more than 100 years after he died during World War I.U.S. Army Sgt. Paul Maynard of...

From left: Honduran Army Col. Marco Lanza, Salvadoran Army Col. Mario Figueroa,  U.S. Army Maj. Gen. David Mikolaities, New Hampshire National Guard adjutant general, and Guatemalan Naval Capt. Hector Ortiz reaffirmed their shared commitment to regional security and renewed partner-nation engagement and training opportunities during a multinational forum in San Salvador, El Salvador, May 21, 2024. The forum, hosted by U.S. Army South, served as the 19th edition of the U.S.-El Salvador army-to-army staff talks and the fifth Central American Working Group to enhance interoperability among American, Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Honduran armies.
US, Central American Partners Reaffirm Security Commitment
By Sgt. Maj. Tanya Lumbard, | May 29, 2024
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – U.S. and Central American military leaders gathered in El Salvador May 21 to reaffirm their shared commitment to regional security and renew partner-nation engagement and training.The multinational...