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Jan 02, 2013
Governor Jindal Appoints David LaCerte to Serve as Interim Veterans Affairs Secretary

BATON ROUGE – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal appointed David LaCerte to serve as Interim Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) upon the retirement of Secretary Lane Carson. 

Governor Jindal said, “Lane is a Louisiana hero. He has served our state and our nation with great honor and led the department through a transformation in order to deliver services to veterans and their families more efficiently. We look forward to working with David as we continue to ensure that our brave veterans and their families receive the care and respect that they deserve for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of our state and nation.”

Carson has served as Secretary since 2008. He is a combat-wounded Veteran and served as Louisiana's first Vietnam Veteran to be elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. Working with Governor Jindal, some of the accomplishments during Secretary Carson’s tenure include: 

Opening and maintaining Veterans Parish Service Offices in every parish across the state;  
Expanding eligibility for all Louisiana Veterans and their spouses into LDVA's five state-of-the-art Veterans Homes and the addition of generators at each location for use during emergencies; 
Growing the LDVA Veterans Cemetery program from one location to two fully operational cemeteries, Northwest LA Veterans Cemetery in Keithville and Central LA Veterans Cemetery in Leesville, with a third location, Southeast LA Veterans Cemetery at Camp Villere in Slidell, currently under construction; 
Incorporating the Military Family Assistance Fund (MFA) into LDVA programs to help members of the Louisiana National Guard and the Louisiana Military Reserves and their families address financial hardships they may encounter when members are placed on active-duty status; and 
Developing LAVETBIZ, a business initiative established to provide additional opportunities for Louisiana-based Veteran and service-connected disabled Veteran-owned small businesses when they seek work with the State of Louisiana.  

David LaCerte Bio
David LaCerte was appointed Deputy Secretary and Executive Counsel of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs in June of 2010. As Deputy Secretary, LaCerte served as the department’s Chief of Staff, Executive Counsel, and Legislative Liaison. 

Prior to joining LDVA, LaCerte served in the Marine Corps infantry in the First Marine Division. Under the command of General James Mattis, he led the first Marines into Afghanistan and Pakistan only weeks after 9/11, helping to drive the Taliban from Kandahar and establish several forward operating bases in hostile territory. He has led over 100 combat patrols and missions in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and also served as a member of interrogation teams for high value Al Qaeda targets.

He graduated with honors from Nicholls State University, earning a B.S. in business. He also holds a J.D. and B.C.L. from LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center and studied international law and European Union law at Université Jean Moulin Lyon III in Lyon, France. LaCerte is licensed to practice law in all Louisiana state and federal courts, as well as the United States Court of Veteran’s Appeals in Washington, D.C. 

He currently resides in Saint Gabriel with his wife, Mandy, an English teacher at Scotlandville Magnet High School, and his daughter, Ava.

 
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