Louisiana man named Army Solder of the Year - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Louisiana man named Army Solder of the Year

(WAFB) -

A Larose, Louisiana soldier has been named Soldier of the Year by Army Times.

Staff Sergeant Joseph Fontenot was honored at an award ceremony in Washington, D.C. Tuesday.

U.S. Senator David Vitter attended the ceremony to congratulate Fontenot in person. "Through his service to both our country and our communities, Staff Sgt. Fontenot represents the best of our American values," Vitter said. "It was an honor to recognize him with this award, and I thank him for his work and sacrifice." 

Fontenot is currently stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky as a field artilleryman.  

Senator Vitter submitted the following statement into the Congressional Record recognizing Staff Sgt. Fontenot:

Today I wish to honor Staff Sergeant Joseph Fontenot of Larose, LA, who is winner of the 2015 Army Times Soldier of the year.  Fontenot is currently stationed in Fort Campbell, KY as a field artilleryman assigned to 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Division 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
Joseph Fontenot’s experience with the military began while he was on tour with his rock band, Jacknife. At 31, following a conversation with
a National Guard soldier, Fontenot decided to put away his bass guitar and to begin serving his country as a soldier in the Army.  After joining the Army in January 2006, Fontenot made the decision to develop his leadership abilities. Through help from his mentor, he challenged himself to push his limits both mentally and physically.

In 2008, Fontenot deployed to Baghdad, Iraq for a yearlong tour.  In 2010, he was redeployed to the Arghandab River Valley, and bravely served
in one of the most dangerous stations in southern Afghanistan.  The experiences there along with the loss of fallen compatriots and friends strengthened Fontenot’s commitment to the Army and bolstered his resolve to continue onward.  Since 2012, he has served as Drill Sergeant where his outstanding commitment led him to be chosen to serve at the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy.

Fontenot’s accomplishments, however, extend far beyond his military aptitude.  Not only is he a frequent volunteer at the local veteran’s hospital
and homeless children’s center, he also participates in Camp Kemo, a program for children battling cancer.

Fontenot’s continued dedication and leadership were noticed by his peers, who nominated him for the 15th Annual Army Times Soldier of the Year
Award for his exemplary leadership.  In February 2015, Fontenot rescued a young man in need whose car had crashed into a canal.  Despite the freezing temperatures, Fontenot jumped into the water and pulled the man from his car.

Staff Sergeant Joseph Fontenot is a man of true courage.  I am honored and humbled to share his heroism, and I thank him for his services to
our country.

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