SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — For Troop 1st Sgt. Brandon Lee, military service runs in the family. It’s one of the things that got him interested in the National Guard.
“I talked to a recruiter and he expressed all the benefits that came along with joining the National Guard. I saw it as a way to serve my community, to serve my nation while still being able to attend school and live a civilian life.”
“I’ve been on two deployments overseas during my tenure in the military and coming up on a third," Lee said. "I’ve met plenty of people over the years, met a lot of guys from different places all over the world and in the country. And I’ve had the chances to do plenty of training opportunities that many people don’t get the chance to do.”
This is especially true in 2020, where the Louisiana National Guard has been assisting in several capacities throughout the state.
“With everything that’s been going on from COVID to multiple hurricanes, we have had several soldiers and troopers around the state," Lee explained. "We have been providing operational support to the communities in the aftermath of the hurricanes, providing search-and-rescue efforts, high-water evacuation efforts, point-of-distribution sites where we provide food, water, ice to the community and just providing any type of support to the local, state and federal agencies that they request.”
Lee serves his community through the National Guard and through his civilian job. Next month marks his 20-year anniversary with the Shreveport Fire Department.
“That’s one of the greatest professions I could have had next to the military. They go hand in hand, and it’s definitely shaped me into the man I am today on the civilian side.”
The Louisiana National Guard motto is “Protect what matters.” That’s something Lee said he is honored to do in every aspect of his life.
“It’s being a citizen soldier. My full-time job, my civilian job is a Shreveport firefighter. And I am able to serve my community in that capacity as well but still be able to serve my community, my state, my nation when called upon.”
Lee also is one of the many Louisiana National Guard soldiers deploying to Iraq next month to support ongoing operations.