Pvt. Arnold Rabalais was born on May 25, 1893. He entered the Army and served in France during WW I where he was assigned to the 41st Co. 162nd
Depot Brigade. He was sometimes called upon to translate the French newspapers for his commander. Little is known about his specific role in the military, as he talked very little about the war.
In a military-issue post card for soliders and sailors, Arnold Rabalais signed on to the prepared language, "The ship on which I sailed has arrived safely overseas." It was addressed to Miss Bertha Dufour, Plaucheville, Louisiana.
Upon his return home after the war ended in 1917, he and Bertha Dufour married and settled in Goudeau, La. There they farmed and raised their eight children: Leslie, Allen, Marjorie, Harold, Vera, Jewel, Richard, and Ryan. Richard died at a young age (approximately three years old). However,three of the children served in World War II and five graduated from EHS.
Arnold passed away on November 2, 1961. Upon his death, a certificate from
President Lyndon Johnson was presented to Bertha. It reads, "The United
States of America honors the memory of Arnold Rabalais. This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States."
Submitted November, 2008 by Ryan Rabalais, son and 1951 EHS graduate.
Pelican Footnote: Ryan serves as the photo editor for www.EvergreenLa.org
A Memorial is posted for Arnold and Bertha Dufour Rabalais in the Memorial Page.