LaPlace soldier returns home for holidays

Published 11:55 pm Tuesday, December 23, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE — He’s home for the holidays.

First Sgt. Chris Gansemer, a 31-year U.S. Army and National Guard veteran, was welcomed home Saturday just in time for the holidays after completing his fourth tour of duty in the Middle East.  

Gansemer of LaPlace left in February for the Afghanistan tour, and upon his return home was surprised by friends, family and American Legion Post 383 comrades at the airport.

Gansemer’s company of 82 soldiers and 15 Scout helicopters accomplished 9,000 hours of flight time in support of ground troops during the tour without sustaining any losses.

Despite the successes, deployments are never easier, no matter if it’s the first time or the fourth time, he said.

“It’s always hard, but I think it becomes predictable for everyone, and everyone learns how to manage and better prepare,” Gansemer, a father of five, said, adding his and wife Cheryl’s Christmas and New Year celebrations will be spent at home with family and friends.

Gansemer, who has lived in LaPlace since 2005 and joined Post 383 approximately two months before this deployment, said Post Commander Dave Gatt gave him an American Legion Commemorative Coin prior to his departure.

“I carried it my pocket,” Gansemer said, adding it was a constant reminder “I had the support of the American Legion and all my fellow veterans.”

Gansemer, part of the 1st Squadron of the 230th Calvary Regiment of the Tennessee National Guard, joined the U.S. Army in 1983 and the National Guard in 1997.

When speaking of deployment, and serving in the armed forces in general, Gansemer said the community should never doubt how important their support is.

“Just knowing the support of the public at home is the most amazing thing,” Gansemer said. “It’s just the biggest thing.”