SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – He went from being a private practice lawyer in Sioux City to serving in the Air Force as a Judge Advocate General. Rene Lapierre said he did it because of what his late father taught him and his brothers.
“I was part of the United States Air Force, my highest rank was captain. I was a JAG. Staff judge advocate. In other words, I was an attorney in the military,” said Rene Lapierre.
In 1988, Rene Lapierre made the decision to leave his private law practice in Sioux City and serve his country.
“I was in military justice, so I prosecuted people for crimes against the uniform code of military justice,” said Lapierre.
After a while, the Air Force made Lapierre Circuit Defense Council, traveling between bases.
“My first duty assignment happened to be off at an Air Force base in Omaha. Then I got reassigned to Williams Air Force base in Phoenix. And then I was reassigned to the United States Air Force Academy, where I taught law,” Lapierre said.
Eventually, Lapierre would be deployed overseas.
“I was there during Desert Storm. I spent time in the Middle East on Operation Southern Watch where we were doing no fly zones, patrolling shortly after the war,” Lapierre said.
He recalls some tense moments in the air.
“There were certainly more than a few, what they would call flashes, where the Iraqis would flash our jets with radar, making it look like they were sending missiles,” Lapierre said.
But after 5 and a half years of service, Lapierre returned home.
“I was blessed, I had great people in command above me that thought I would be ripe to either go to Bosnia or Somalia. I was just concerned. And that just led me to say, ‘Okay I did my time,’” said Lapierre.
Fulfilling the wish of his late father.
“It’s a family principle of service that our father instilled in us that we owed a duty to this country. And you know, there’s a lot of different ways to serve, but we owed a duty to this country,” said Lapierre.
Lapierre chose to share his story of his service at Freedom Park in South Sioux City because he said there are thousands of names on the wall, of people who gave their life in service to this country, and they should not be forgotten.