A little help goes a long way during the holidays

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 23, 2020

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I pulled up in the Home Depot parking lot one Saturday morning. Like most guys, I was there to see what had “just arrived” that I just could not live without. Before getting out of my truck, I watched a guy struggle to put a new gas grill in the back of his SUV. I watched him struggle for about two minutes before thinking there was no way that grill was going to fit in the back of his truck. He began to unscrew one wing off the side to make it narrower, but it still would not fit. Eventually, I went over to offer my assistance. Realizing the grill was never going to fit, I offered to put the grill in the back of my truck. He immediately accepted my offer, just as I realized I didn’t know where he was going with this grill. Holding my breath, I asked him, “how far you gotta go?” He said “Summerlin Subdivision, right down the street.” That allowed me to breathe easier.
After the grill was loaded in the back of my truck, we introduced ourselves and I found out that he was home from the military for the holidays to spend some time with his father. He stated that he used to live in St. John Parish and that he has been serving in the U.S. Army for the past 20 years and is currently stationed in Maryland. But his dad still lives here. The grill was a Christmas gift for his dad. So, I took the opportunity to introduce myself and to reassure him, that when he got in his vehicle to lead the way to his dad’s house, I would not speed off in the opposite direction.
I then followed him to Summerlin subdivision, and we pulled into the driveway. We unloaded the grill together. He told me that he was looking forward to grilling and watching the Saints game with his dad the next day, since he had no idea when he would get back to Louisiana. We exchanged phone numbers right there is his dad’s driveway because I am always in recruitment mode, even at Home Depot on a Saturday morning. Our conversation continued until I saw the front door to the residence open up and his dad stepped outside with a very confused look on his face. He looked at his son and asked, “Derrick, what in the world is going on, why is the sheriff here?” Derrick started to laugh and, before he could speak, I informed his dad that everything was OK and I hoped he enjoys his new grill for the Saints game.
With that I shook Derrick’s hand and thanked him for his service to our country. I wished him a safe return to his base and then I asked him to give me a call when he returns home after retirement from military duty.
So please remember, in all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, don’t forget to pick your head up and look around. Someone may need a little help that will go a long way in making his or her season bright. I truly believe that God puts us in the right place at the right time to either get help or give help to our fellow citizens.

From my family to yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year!


Mike Tregre is the elected sheriff of St. John the Baptist Parish. The St. John Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 985-652-9513.