Nunez receives ‘Louisiana Honors’ medal

Lee R. Nunez, Jr., 91 year old Grand Chenier native and US Navy Veteran, was among a group who received the “Louisiana Honors” medal from the Governor’s office, commending his service to his country during the Korean War. The ceremony took place Thursday, Feb. 29, at the Southwest Louisiana Veteran’s Home in Jennings, where Nunez is a resident. His daughter Vickie and son-in-law Al, along with granddaughters, Alexa and Chloe, were proudly able to witness him receive his medal. Members of his family that were not able to attend due to work obligations were happy to watch him featured that evening on KPLC Channel 7.

Nunez can chronicle the entire sequence of events, joining the Navy at 18 years old in New Orleans, then taking a train bound for boot camp in San Diego, eventually sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge out into the Pacific. He was an Engineman 2nd class in charge of the engine room of the USS Polaris.

He tells of being close enough off the coast of Korea to see the firing of weapons. His story also includes tales of being on leave in Japan, where they “didn’t get in too much trouble”. At 91 years of age, he can still describe in detail the size and power of each engine he was in charge of. At the end of his tour of duty, he always includes the story of being picked up by his brothers Garner and Tommy Nunez, who insisted that they had to meet Tommy’s Grand Chenier High School teacher who was judging 4-H Achievement Day at Grand Lake High.

In his sailor suit, with a brother on each side, he was marched across the gym to meet his destiny, because the teacher he met that day became his bride three months later. Her name was Bobbye Jean Collins. Meeting her marked the end of his service in the Navy, but it began a marriage of 66 years that was a testament of pure love and devotion, ending only with her passing on in November of 2022, at the Veteran’s Home where they resided together. Nunez would welcome any visitors at the Veteran’s Home and enjoys very much any company that comes. He and his family thanks the Cameron Pilot for covering this momentous event. He is an avid reader of the Pilot and awaits it’s delivery every week!