CHS Alumni Bolden, Nguyen, & Chester Serve Country

Delvin

Delvin "Pluck" Bolden

Kylie Broussard, Editor-in-chief

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Crowley High School has many alumni that have taken on the role of serving our country and are active in the military today, including Delvin “Pluck” Bolden, Lam Nguyen, and Avery Chester.

Bolden, who graduated from CHS in 2007, enlisted in the Army 10 years ago on Aug. 8, 2007 and is currently a sergeant.  He gave credit to his grandparents for inspiring him to join the military. “They wanted me to get away from Crowley do something in life, and also make sure I got an education.”

Sgt. Bolden is currently deployed in Iraq. “My favorite part about being in the military is that it keeps me disciplined, gives me a job, and one of the best parts is free school.” He explains, “Also you get to meet and connect with so many people from all over the world. It’s such a great experience.”  

Sgt. Bolden continued saying, “What enjoy most about the military is being able to do so much and keep an active lifestyle. “It’s always better to try new things, and in the military, there is always something new for you to experience.”

Sgt. Bolden explained that the living conditions are not the ideal.  “(They) are terrible, especially with all the sandstorms. If you haven’t been in a sandstorm, it is horrible.  I would have to say I rather be in a hurricane than a sandstorm; that’s how bad it is. We also live in little tents, like dorms. The bathrooms where I am at aren’t too bad, but still not the best compared to being home.”

Sgt. Bolden believes his strongest assets that help him the most in being in the Army are his communication skills and his ways of interacting with people. “I seem to have a way with bonding and connecting to everyone.”

He openly admitted it’s tough losing someone he has served with.  “I would have to say my weakest is losing a battle buddy during a war and having to actually be the one to type up the condolence letter to the family and do all the KIA (killed in action) paperwork since I am a human resource specialist. Something about that just tears me down and make me weak,” he said.

He also stated it’s hard being away from his family.  “Not being able to be around your family for so long and be there for your kids is the most difficult part. All the other things you can just adjust to and not really worry about as much.”

Bolden also that his perception of being in the military has changed.  “Being in the military is not as bad as I thought it would be from when I first joined. It has made me a better person and see things in life differently. I have gotten to go to many places, see lots of things I never knew existed, and also met lots of great people from all over the world.

“It has ups and downs, but hey no matter where you go in life, you will go through rough times. This is my second time being deploying to Iraq. I’ve seen things I wish I have never seen and lost people I wish I wouldn’t have lost in battle, but it’s a part of life. Don’t be afraid to join the military; sometimes it is the best thing to do. Some people will like it, others will not. I do not regret joining the military at all.”  

Sgt. Bolden also mentioned that he will be graduating in May from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton Texas with a bachelor’s degree in social work.  “It is all paid for by the military.”

Landon “Lam” Nguyen

Nguyen also graduated from CHS in 2007. He enlisted in the Navy on Feb. 5, 2013, and he is currently stationed in Misawa, Japan as a petty officer second class and works as a logistics specialist.

He explained that his favorite part about being in the Navy is being able to travel the world. “I’ve been to France, Bahrain, Dubai, South Korea, Guam, and Singapore.” he stated.”I really enjoy learning about the different cultures and trying new food (even the weird ones). I also like making lifelong friends that come from different backgrounds and from all over the states.”

Petty Officer Second Class Nguyen stated that he had many inspirations for joining the Navy.  “My sister is in the Marine Corps, and I admire how much pride she had. I also wanted to be a part of something bigger. They say that 1 percent of the U.S. population is in the military, and I’m proud to be in  that 1 percent.”

There are many stories that come along with being in the military and Nguyen shared one. ”A few months after I joined the Navy, my ship set out for a nine-month deployment,” he said. “It was a long and rewarding deployment. (It’s hard) missing holidays and family, but we got to visit some amazing places during deployment. Standing watch on the focsle (upper deck forward part of the ship) and passing through the Strait of Hormuz coming home from deployment was an amazing sight. You could look to the left and see Egypt and the right was Europe.”

Petty Officer Second Class Nguyen believes one of his strongest assets is being a team player.  “Teamwork plays a huge part. The minute you get to bootcamp, you have a room full of strangers, but we must work as a team, work together and look out for each other. After endless marching, working out, and learning about the Navy, it gets tiring and some may even fall asleep or don’t know how to shine their boots. I will either wake him/her up if an instructor walks in or help them shine his boots because it’s “one team, one fight.”

He admitted what is finds most difficult.  “How to find the courage to communicate to your junior sailors a task or something they did wrong because that same sailor might be your best friend that you hang out on the weekends.”

Petty Officer Second Class Nguyen gave a description of his “not so great” living conditions.  “Our living quarters are called berthings, and we sleep in racks. Your bed is the size of a twin that is about two feet high for space, which is enough for you to just sleep in. There are three racks stacked on top of each other with one on the left and right, meaning there are six sailors per cubicle. An aircraft carrier has about 5,000 sailors so there isn’t that much space and privacy.”

He also mentioned what he misses most about being away from home. “I miss my parents and siblings so much.  There are times when it’s hard because you’ll miss holidays when you are on deployment, and you can’t buy a plane ticket home.”

Petty Officer Second Class Nguyen had a final comment.  “There are always ups and downs with every job or career. You just have to make the best out of it and take it day by day,” he said. “If you focus on the negatives, your days will be slow and long.”

He has a hospitality management degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and he is currently working on his MBA (Master’s in business administration) from the University of Maryland University College.

Avery Chester

Chester, who is a 1999 CHS graduate, enlisted in the Navy in Aug. 2001. He is currently deployed in Bahrain (Middle East) as a lieutenant, and he works as a chief engineer.

He mentioned who influenced him to join the Navy.  “My dad was in the Navy at the time. I watched how he enjoyed what he did, and I wanted the same feeling of accomplishment.”

In his 16 ½  years in the Navy, he has visited over 15 different countries.

Lt. Chester explained his favorite part about being in the military.  (It’s) being a part of something bigger,” he said. “I (also) enjoy being around so many positive people that will have your back no matter what. It’s like having a second family.”

He stated that he believes his communication skills is his greatest asset.  “You hold other sailors’ lives in your hands, so you have to make sure you communicate effectively.”

Lt. Chester admitted it’s difficult being away from home.  ”You have to stay focused, so when you start thinking about home, you have to be careful not to lose sight of the mission. Sailors can be hurt or killed if they are not focused on the task at hand.”

The living conditions are “not that bad” according to Lt. Chester.  “We have offices spaces, places to eat and relax. Before I forget, imagine having a three-level bunk to sleep in.”

He mentioned the two things he misses most about home.  “First, I really miss my family. Second, I miss the food so much.”

He says that the living condition is “really not bad”, he explains that “ we have office spaces, a places to eat and relax. Before I forget just imagine having a 3 level bunk bed to sleep in.

Lt. Chester is married to his wife Anna, and his children are Avania, Alayna, and Alyssa.

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CHS Alumni Bolden, Nguyen, & Chester Serve Country