It's been nine days since four Louisiana Guardsmen died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Navarre, Fla., and on Thursday afternoon, people who knew one of them, staff Sgt. Lance Bergeron of Thibodaux, are looking back on a man who was a role model for many.
They gathered Thursday afternoon in the main hallway of Thibodaux High to remember Bergeron, a man who brought honor to his country, and his school.
"The whole family of Thibodaux High is saddened by what happened," said Principal Glenn Haydel, who was Bergeron's former coach.
At the high school, Bergeron is remembered as a popular student who helped land Thibodaux high school an honor that it has only achieved once in the last 50 years.
"To do it that way, fighting for your country, and then to die off the Florida coast - it was confusing at first," said coach Lenny Ford.
Bergeron, who joined the National Guard shortly after graduating, played wide receiver and special teams while helping Thibodaux win the 1991 state football championship.
"He was a jokester - the third person we lost from that team - another brother I've lost," said former teammate Jamie Himel.
Those who knew Bergeron were not surprised that he went on to become a crew chief. He was considered a selfless team player.
"Very coachable kid - always front of the line - wanted to be first," Ford said.
In a school whose mascot is a tiger, it's not hard to see how Bergeron became an avid LSU fan.
"Always remember him as sincere - a funloving fellow," said former classmate Arthur Bernard
At Thibodaux Hhigh, the flag flies at half staff in Bergeron's honor.
Bergeron leaves behind a wife, and two children.
The city of Hammond is planning a community memorial service for all four soldiers in early April. Meantime, funeral arrangements, and a cause of the Black Hawk crash, have not been released yet.