by KAREN LAGRANGE COX
Kevin Blane wanted a purpose for himself in life; as a result of this, he made the decision to enlist in the United States Army, where he now serves as an Army Recruiter in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Prior to enlisting in the Army, Staff Sergeant Blane had tried enlisting in the United States Navy after dropping out of college. Due to having had a concussion due to a vehicle accident, the Navy rejected him and placed him on a five-year medical hold from joining the military.
After the medical rejection from enlisting in the Navy, he spent five years as a truck driver. After driving trucks for a while, he said he tried to find his footing in life, wanting a purpose for himself. Looking at himself in the mirror, he questioned whether truck driving was what he wanted to do with his life.
The five-year medical hold on him from joining the military was over, which allowed him to try again in joining the military. This time, he chose the United States Army. His health was cleared, and his Army enlistment was accepted in April 2010.
His basic training was in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. After basic training, he attended job training in Fort Gregg-Adams, Virginia. His Army job was 91 E, which is an Allied Trade Specialist as a welder.
Being from Barlett, Texas, Blane hoped his first assignment would be Fort Hood, Texas; however, the Army sent him to Camp Casey in South Korea, where he spent one year.
Blane and Latrecie both grew up and met in Barlett. He was serving at Camp Casey, and she was living in Barlett when they got married – via a Skype video call. His mother was given his proxy for the marriage; his father, a minister, married the couple. With Korea being a fourteen-hour time difference ahead of Barlett, he was a day ahead in Korea when they married. When asking the couple when their anniversary is, he says it is the day ahead of what she says is their anniversary.
Upon Blane’s return to the United States, he and his bride went to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where they spent the next three years. Their next move was to Wheeler Army Airfield in Hawaii, spending three years in Hawaii. After Hawaii, the family moved to Fort Eustis in Virginia for three years.
The next job assignment for Blane was Army Recruitment. Training for being an Army Recruiter took him to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he spent seven weeks. After graduating from recruiting school, recruiters must practice in another city. Blane went to Memphis, Tennessee, to practice recruitment.
After recruiting training was completed, Blane, his wife, and three girls, each of who were born in different states, moved to the Broussard, Louisiana area in October 2022. He works from the Army Recruitment office in Lafayette, where he will serve for three years. Since their move to the area, there is another baby on the way, another girl.
Blane likes being in the Lafayette area as it is closer to his home of Barlett, a town of about three-thousand people. Their drive from Broussard to Barlett is five hours, allowing the family to visit their family more often than when he was stationed further away.
A benefit of being in the Army is having paid medical benefits.
Another benefit is having college paid for by the military. Using that benefit, he earned his Associate’s Degree in Christian Counseling and his Bachelor’s Degree in Science and is currently working on his Master’s degree in Divinity (Theology Degree).
Being an Army spouse, Latrecie was eligible for grants, financial aid, and scholarships, which she utilized. Currently, She works at Oshner Lafayette in the radiology department doing CT scans.
Blane’s end game is to become a military minister as a Christian Chaplain once he completes his time as an Army Recruiter in Lafayette. He said he sees what he does as an Army Recruiter as part of what he does as an unofficial ministry. Blane enjoys talking to the youth about their options in life, including the option of a military career.
While his job is to recruit young men and women to the Army, he attends and volunteers at many community events, including school events such as career day and sports events.
When asked about the number of female recruits, Blane said records showed in 2021, female recruits were 17.5% of recruits.
Blane has seven more years to go to have served in the Army for twenty years, enabling him to retire from the Army and receive various retirement benefits. If he becomes a chaplain, he must commit to ten years as a chaplain, putting him past the twenty-year mark. That’s ok with him.
One of the hard things about being in the Army is leaving friends behind, not only for him but for his wife and daughters. The opposite side of that is the experience of living in and seeing new places while meeting new friends is priceless.
The Lafayette Army Recruiting Station is located at 5405 Johnston Street, Suite 103, in Lafayette, Louisiana. The phone number is (337) 265-4765. Call (337) 224-3950 to reach Staff Sergeant Blane directly.