Posted: Sep 12, 2013 5:34 PM by Rebecca Buchanan
Updated: Sep 12, 2013 5:39 PM
BATON ROUGE - Families of fallen officers received the state's highest law enforcement honor on their behalf today in Baton Rouge.
The Louisiana Law Enforcement Medal of Honor was presented posthumously to Deputy Randall L. Benoit of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, who was killed in a car wreck near Lake Charles; Deputy Brandon Nielsen and Deputy Jeremy Triche of the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office, who were gunned down in an ambush in LaPlace; and Deputy Ricky Issac, Jr. of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office, who was also killed in a car wreck.
"It's not the easiest thing to do to sit there and talk to your kids, because you're still grieving and you're still hurting, but you never want them to forget," said Misty Triche, widow of Deputy Triche. "We tell them that he's not coming home, but daddy's proud of him, we've got to do this for daddy, this is what he would want, and try to be nice and kind and helpful just like daddy did."
Nielsen and Triche both died when they were ambushed while investigating the shooting of another deputy in LaPlace. Investigators said the suspects had ties to the "sovereign citizens" movement.
"To walk into our houses every single day and not hear that door open when they're supposed to be there or to have them to tuck the kids into bed, or just simply sit down and eat dinner with us, we'll never have that again," continued Triche.
A year later, the families still cling to each other for support. They continue to stay close to their law enforcement family, getting visits daily by fellow officers.
"The reality, a year later, is that they're not coming home, it's sobering and it's devastating all at the same time, but we do want people to remember, we want people to be as proud as we are of them," said Daniell Nielsen, widow of Deputy Nielsen.
Today's four awards bring the total number of Medal of Honor recipients to 76 since the program began.