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Soldier in the spotlight

By Maj. Juan A. Pina
First published in
SFOR Informer #84, March 29, 2000


If you want to find one of the happiest SFOR soldiers and eat a delicious French meal, do not waste your time simply go and meet Master Sgt. Patick Lapierre from the French Air Force. He arrived last January into Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH) and was posted as the commander of the French Air Detachment Dining Facility at Sarajevo Airport. He is responsible for seven other military personnel and 14 locals. "My days here start and end picking up these local people from downtown to the airport. Everyday it is a pleasure to laugh and sing French songs with them," said Lapierre.
Born in Alsatia in 1960, in a little mountain village located at the foot slope of the "Ballon d'Alsace" Mountain, he has had no trouble to feel comfortable in this chilly weather.
He joined the Air Force in 1977 with his first post at Luxeuil Air Force Base. He spent more than 15 years there. He started as a cook and finished as the kitchen chief and manager of the officers’ dinning facility. In 1992 he was detached as the head of the domestic staff for the Chief Staff of the French Air Force. Today he has is based at the 110th Air Force Base in Creil, France, with the responsibility of nutritional logistic support.
Regarding his time in service, he is proud to talk about his tours abroad. He was in Chad and Djbouti, Africa; and he recently arrived from a two-year tour in Dakar in Senegal (Africa.)
He is the father of a 19-year-old girl from his first wife, and says he is the luckiest man in SFOR. "How happy I felt when I received the most important news in my life - when my young wife Marie-Laure, also military, sent me a letter on Saint Valentines Day, announcing that I will be daddy again next October."