Mike “Sarge” Broussard (1936-2014). Great-great grandson of Coleman Broussard (1842-1910). Born and lived entire life in Vivian, Louisiana except for the period when he was in the service (1968-1970). Served in the Vietnam War, honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant. Owned filing station/auto repair shop in Vivian. Has a daughter, Eva Broussard.
Mike comes from an old Louisianan Cajun family that first settled in Natchitoches, Louisiana in the late 18th century. Later the family made its way north to Shreveport, then Vivian. Coleman Broussard, MIke’s great-great-grandfather, was the cousin of Levi Motts who died during the Civil war, at the Battle of Mansfield, leaving behind his pregnant fiancée, Ruby Robison. Coleman decides to ask Ruby to marry, a proposal she accepts, in order to legitimize his cousin’s child and they go on to have several more children. These were Mike’s direct ancestors.
The Acadians, who descended from sturdy French peasant stock, originated during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in a colony known as Acadia in the present-day Canadian province of Nova Scotia. By the time Acadia fell to British control in 1713, the Acadians had become a close-knit, clannish, and culturally distinct group of French-speaking folk who had fashioned their own identity. But once the Acadians became British subjects, and for decades thereafter, they experienced continuing problems with their British overlords. In an effort to end these difficulties, Great Britain began a forced exportation program after the Acadians refused to take oaths of allegiance. The authorities relocated thousands of Acadians against their will in various colonies, including those of the Atlantic coast and the Caribbean. This mass movement, known in Acadian history as the dérangement, separated entire families.
The migrating Acadians did not arrive in Louisiana as their initial destination, but some of them eventually found their way to the lower Mississippi from other New World colonies to which they had been exiled by the British. Thousands of Acadians arrived in Louisiana during the 1770s and 1780s. The Spanish government provided them with material assistance in establishing their farms. Most of the Acadians settled to the west of the Mississippi River in the bayou areas along the southwestern prairie. There they soon developed a unique rural lifestyle based on hunting and farming. The French inhabitants already in the colony shunned them, most likely because the Acadians appeared to them as unsophisticated and simple folk. These Acadians became the forebears of today’s Louisiana Cajuns.
Mike Broussard enlisted in the army during the Vietnam war and rose to the rank of sergeant. He was good with cars and was assigned to the transport unit and served with distinction. After the war he came back to Louisiana and opened a Texaco filling station and repair shop, which he ran for over forty years.
He had one daughter, Eva, with whom he became estranged but not because of anything he did. However, he never knew his granddaughter.
Sarge lived a long and productive life, consistently honoring the service of military vets, dying in 2014.
Dwight Wayne Washington was born and spent his early life in Detroit, Michigan. He was drafted into the Army in 1964 when he turned 18 and was sent to Vietnam. Eventually he was assigned to the 515th Transportation Company in Cam Ranh Bay under Sergeant Mike Broussard. Here he learned just about all there was to know about repairing cars and motors.
Instead of going back to Detroit, D.W. decided to move to Vivian and continued to work for Mike in his filling station and auto repair shop for the next 40 years. D.W. and Mike were best friends despite D.W.’s tendency to get drunk most weekends forcing Mike to drive by his house on Monday morning and get him up for another week of work.
D.W. died in 2007 shortly before his 61st birthday from congestive heart failure.