For Beau Chene (Arnaudville, La.) football players Regelio Bermea and Desmond Ford, Friday’s game against the No. 7-ranked St. Martinville Tigers was much bigger than a typical football game.
The duo and its Gators teammates were wearing military-styled uniforms as a special tribute to our nation’s armed forces.
“I think it’s pretty great,” Bermea said. “Not every high school gets the opportunity to show appreciation to the military. And hopefully, my school keeps the tradition going after this year.”
Had basic training
It’s especially significant to Bermea and Ford, who are both already part of the National Guard and spent this past summer in a 10-week basic training program in Fort Benning, Georgia.
The paths to the military for these two seniors were different ones.
In Bermea’s case, there was a family history of military service, but circumstance also led to his decision.
“Before I was born, my Dad used to be in the Army in Mexico,” explained Bermea, who plays guard and defensive end for the Gators. “I grew up in a bad neighborhood and I knew I couldn’t afford to go to college because of my bad situation with my Mom being sick.”
A family tradition
A family member also helped to push him in that direction.
“Then my dad passed away when I was 8,” Bermea said. “I met one of my uncles who was a Marine. I was talking to him about it and since then, I always wanted to join the military.”
In Ford’s case, it was all about his family’s tradition.
“I saw all of my family in some branch of the military, so I thought that maybe I should do this,” Ford said.
And after experiencing it this past summer, he was even more convinced.
“This is for me, for real,” he said. “It really is.”
Bermea’s experience in Georgia, however, was a little more turbulent.
“I really thought it was going to be really, really tough because of what people had been talking about and the videos I had been watching,” he said. “When I got over there, I was thinking, ‘I don’t think I’m going to make it.’”