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2018 Honorees

Robert Bailey
Nominated by New Orleans VA

A graduate of LSU, Robert Bailey earned his Navy Commission at the Aviation Officers Candidate School at NAS Pensacola. He returned to Baton Rouge after the Navy. In 2005, he lost both legs below the knee in an accident. In 2009, he discovered recumbent trikes and has been an avid rider since. 

We thank Mr. Bailey for his service!

Dahlia Elizabeth
Nominated by New Orleans VA

Dahlia served 26 years in the Army and was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. After, she battled severe depression and was taking multiple medications when she was referred to the VA program. 
She has been seeking treatment at the New Orleans VA by enrolling in the VA Pain Management Program. Her main take away from the program is her new-found ability to manage her pain while keeping active. In order to stay moving, she now enjoys walking, yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation. She also participates in the MOVE Program and adaptive tennis. Today, she is taking fewer medications and deals with her pain in a holistic way. She says, "If it weren't for the VA Alternative Health Programs, I don't know what would have happened to me. I accept that my body is not 100% and I do all I can to love and nurture it".

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Michael Cheramie
Nominated by Wounded War Heroes

      Michael Cheramie was born in South Louisiana in 1965, spending his first years living in Bayou Lafource. Later he move to Slidell, and graduated from Salmen High School in 1983.

      In the same year he joined the Marine Corps, attending bootcamp in San Diego. Upon completion of bootcamp he attended Infantry Training School at Camp Pendleton.

      His first duty assignment was with Marine Barracks Hawaii where he served in security forces protecting vital Naval facilities.

He was transferred to Camp Lejeune for assignment with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines. He served in a rifle company and completed a deployment as a platoon sergeant while only holding the rank of Corporal. After the deployment he passed a screening and became a scout-sniper with the same unit. As a sniper he deployed to the Philippines and conducted deep jungle operations during Operation Subic Presence. As a sniper with this unit he attended and graduated French Foreign Legion Jungle Commando School in French Guiana. 

     In January 1991 he reported to San Diego for duty as a Drill Instructor.  He served 4 platoons as a Drill Instructor, 3 as a Senior Drill Instructor, and served as a Senior Drill Instructor for a Special Training Platoon.  

In 1993 he reported to 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines where he served in the unit in various sniper billets. In 1994 he deployed as a sniper to Mogadishu, Somalia and participated in Operations Continue Hope and Quick Draw. The same year he was sent as a sniper to Burundi and Rwanda for Operation Distant Runner which was the rescue of American, British, Belgian, and French citizens. He later deployed with the unit to the western Pacific.

He next served as an instructor and chief instructor as the Staff Noncommissioned Officers Academy for the Sergeants Course. 

      He next served as a Company Gunnery Sergeant for Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. With this unit he deployed to the western Pacific and served as a liaison officer to the Australian army, and launch and recovery officer for small boat raids on an Australian ship.

He was transferred to 5th Marine Headquarters where he served as Assistant Operations Chief and later put in charge of the regimental marksmanship training unit infantry weapons training unit.

2003 he was assigned as the security team leader and personal body guard of Regimental Combat Team 5 commanding officer, deploying to Iraq. During the invasion he was in combat with the lead element of the regiment everyday from 20 March to 10 April, serving in combat with every battalion from the regiment. 

He retired in August of 2003. 


Personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V for valor, the Purple Heart Medal ,the Meritorious Service Medal, two Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medals, three Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and two Combat Action Ribbons, and 15 campaign and service awards with 14 stars. 

Chris LaBorde

LaBorde joined the New Orleans Police Department in March of 2007 and graduated in academy class #159. 

He has been a member of the Fraternal Order of Police Crescent City Lodge # 2 since 2007.
LaBorde was a member of the 2018 New Orleans Police Department’s Flag Football team. The team went on to be crowned champions of the 2018 First Responders Flag Football Tournament.

LaBorde has also been a lifelong die-hard New Orleans Saints Fan. WHO DAT!


He has served in the following assignments:

-3rd District Platoon, 3RD District Task Force, 3rd District Investigative Unit

-8th District Platoon, 8th District Task Force, 8th District Narcotics Unit, 8th District Investigative Unit

-Investigation and Support Bureau / Criminal Investigative Division / Special Victims Section / Child Abuse Unit

-Investigation and Support Bureau / Criminal Investigative Division / Special Victims Section / Sex Crimes Unit (Currently)

The following are Detective LaBorde’s accomplishments since he has been an officer with the New Orleans Department:

-Victims & Citizens Against Crime, Inc. Outstanding Law Enforcement Award (6/25/2009)

-New Orleans Police Department Superintendent’s Coin Service of Excellence Award (3/14/2012)

-New Orleans Police Department Superintendent’s Coin Service of Excellence Award (10/29/2012)

-New Orleans Police Department Superintendent’s Coin Service of Excellence Award (12/18/2012)

-New Orleans Police Department Letter of Commendation (8/11/2015)

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Paul Schaefer

Paul Schaefer is a native of New Orleans and enlisted in the armed forces at the age of 17. He went on to earn his commission as a Second Lieutenant and recently retired as a Lieutanant Colonel from the U.S. Army Reserve on the 4th of July, 2018. He served a total of 28 years; 17 years of local service in the Louisiana National Guard and an additional 11 years in the U.S. Army Reserve. 

Amongst his many assignments, he served as a Company Commander in Iraq in 2010-2011, deployed to the Middle East during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003-2004, and served the local community during Hurricaine Katrina by overseeing food and water distribution points. He has been awarded both a Bronze Star and a Meritoriious Service Ribbon. 
As a civilian, he earned his doctorate from the University of New Orleans, founded a faith-based non-profit counseling center and has assisted multitudes of individuals and families as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Thank you for your service Paul!

Garett Duggan

Thank you for your service Garett!

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