Gator 99.5 has teamed up with Loggerheads, Riverside Resort in Lake Charles to honor your warrior. We want to salute the true heroes among us, those who have answered the call to serve their country with unwavering dedication and bravery.

Each week, we will choose a different WARRIOR OF THE WEEK to honor and we will write a quick story about each of them. If you would like to nominate someone for our Warrior of the Week, CLICK HERE.

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With over 2 million service members, including Reserve and National Guard soldiers, the United States military is one of the world's largest. Its branches—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Space Force, and Coast Guard—have distinct roles and cultures, but they all share a sense of patriotism and commitment to serving the United States.

Joining the military is a special commitment, whether it's for a few years or a lifetime. It is crucial for servicemen and their families to feel supported by their fellow Americans.

Aaron Burden via Unsplash.com
Aaron Burden via Unsplash.com
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Here are a few of my favorite quotes that help us put into words our feelings about our troops and what their service means to our nation...

"There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer." -- Gen. James H. Doolittle

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation." -- Gen. Douglas MacArthur

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader." -- John Quincy Adams

"This will remain the land of the free so long as it is the home of the brave." -- Elmer Davis

Gabe Soileau/Canva
Gabe Soileau/Canva
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This week, our Loggerheads and Riverside Resort Warrior of the Week is Gabe Soileau!

Gabriel J. Soileau is a native of Ville Platte, Louisiana. He enlisted in June 1997 and underwent recruit training with Company B, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California. In December 1997, Master Sergeant Soileau completed the Basic Engineer Equipment Operator Course, at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He was ordered to Support Company, Support Battalion, 3d FSSG, Okinawa, Japan for duty. He served in multiple billets within the Heavy Equipment Platoon.

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In May 1999, He transferred to MSSG-31, 31st MEU, where he served as the Heavy Equipment Section Leader. Master Sergeant Soileau transferred in January of 2000 to Headquarters Battery, 11th Marines, Camp Pendleton, California. He participated in multiple Desert Fire Exercises, trained incidental operators, provided Engineer Support throughout the Regiment, and attended the Weapons Instructors Course. He also reenlisted for the first time.

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After reenlisting Master Sergeant Soileau then reported to the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion in August 2001, attended Sapper School, and deployed in June 2002 with the 11th MEU, BLT 3/1 in support of OEF, and immediately redeployed in 2003 for OIF in support of 1/7, and Task Force Tripoli. During his time at 1st CEB MSgt Soileau served in every billet from Squad Leader to Company Gunny, serving with Companies A, D, and Support.

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He was also promoted to Staff Sergeant. Master Sergeant Soileau was next assigned to Recruiting duty. He returned home for a few years and was assigned to Recruiting Station New Orleans, which was re-designated as Recruiting Station Baton Rouge. Master Sergeant Soileau served as both a canvassing recruiter and Detachment Commander of Recruiting Substation Lake Charles. Upon completion of Recruiting Duty Master Sergeant Soileau was assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 1 as the SNCOIC of the Heavy Equipment section, and then reassigned to 7th Engineer Support Battalion, Bravo Company as the Platoon Sergeant for the Operations Platoon.

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In April 2010 he was deployed to Afghanistan in support of OEF in 2011. Upon return from deployment, Master Sergeant Soileau completed both the Engineer Equipment Chiefs Course and the Advanced Course. During this time he also served as the Operations Platoon Commander. Master Sergeant Soileau returned to Okinawa, Japan in 2013 assigned to Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. He serves as the SNCOIC of the Heavy Equipment Platoon and the Operations Chief of Camp Schwab.

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During this time Master Sergeant Soileau participated in numerous operations throughout the Asian Pacific area. He assumed his current rank in July of 2016 and is currently serving as the Regimental Engineer Chief, Headquarters Battery 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Master Sergeant Soileau is a graduate of Central Texas College where he earned an Associate of Arts in General Studies.

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His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2nd award), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon. Master Sergeant Soileau is happily married to Mrs. Lacey Soileau of San Juan Capistrano, California they currently reside in Oceanside aboard Camp Pendleton. They have a daughter, Evangeline Soileau, and a son Delta Soileau.

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