U.S. Army Sergeant Major Lawrence Boivin was one of the four veterans killed Thursday, when a freight train hit a Show of Support Parade float the veterans were riding on. Midland Police say SGM Boivin died on the scene of the crash.
Below is his biography, as it appeared on the Show of Support website:
My name is Lawrence Boivin, and I retired from the Army after 24 years of active duty service to our great nation. I served the last 10 years of my military career within the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), where I was deployed to Iraq several times and once to Afghanistan. I was deployed to Iraq for Desert Storm/Desert Shield, Monrovia, Liberia, and Freetown Sierra Leone before my service during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
I am happily married to my wonderful wife, Angela, who has been a role model for military wives to emulate. She is currently working as a nurse at Cape Fear Medical Center as staff nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) and is attending college full time at UNC-Chapel Hill to earn her adult nurse practitioner degree. I am also blessed with two beautiful stepdaughters. We have a beautiful grandson named Nate who is the apple of our eye.
On April 26, 2004, during a tour of duty in Iraq, I was working with USSOCOM providing training and support to a small Marine contingency. After occupation of a strategic location, we were attacked from several locations by a large massing enemy force. During the first minutes of the attack, 50 percent of Marine forces were incapacitated. During the initial attack, RPG rounds were impacting all around us, and I was hit by shrapnel from an RPG round. During this attack, I withstood several penetrating wounds to the left side of my head, legs, and buttock. After regaining my composure, I fought back with the remaining Marines until I was wounded again by a fragmentation grenade that impacted my left arm and back. My teammate and I provided covering support to allow the Marines to evacuate the wounded. Once all of the wounded Marines were safe or moving back to a safe location, my teammate and I bounded back toward the Marine Forward Operating Base (FOB) while continuing to provide covering fire for our Marines until the rest made it back to safety. There is a book called "No True Lies," written by Bing West, that describes the events of that day.
I was awarded a Silver Star and Purple Heart for my action that day. When I retired from the Army, I received the Legion of Merit medal for the culmination of my 24 years of service. Previously, I received the Meritorious Service Medal for the rescue and safe evacuations of American citizens as well as other dignitaries from the embassy in 1996, The Bronze Star from Desert Storm/Desert Shield for reconnoiter of the main supply route (MSR) that the 82nd would use to invade Iraq, and safe destruction of weaponized munitions at various depots.
Upon my retirement, I began working for K2 Solutions Inc., a defense contractor located in Southern Pines, N.C. I initially began my work as a subject matter expert (SME) for training on various equipment, weapons, breaching techniques, and demolitions. Currently, I am the director of Support Operations in charge of maintaining and improving the company infrastructure. My job at K2 is extremely satisfying because of the close relationships we value with our soldiers, Marines, airmen, and seamen. This work allows us to continue service to our country, providing support to our men and women in uniform with the knowledge and experiences my colleagues and I have obtained through years of dedication and active duty service.