The path from straight and narrow to Broken Arrow
5 years ago
This quarter we are highlighting one of our members businesses, Broken Arrow Emergency Systems, which was founded by Eric Delaune (1997-2000). The company is located in Lafayette, Louisiana and focuses on tactical training specializing in reality based self-defense, firearms, and survival training.
Eric was assigned to a casket platoon and had the pleasure of living, and working, with John Fader (1997-98) who would give him the first thoughts of becoming a guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Night after night Eric heard about the Tomb from his roommate, and when John left for Temporary Duty to try out for the Tomb Guard Platoon he was able to see the challenges he faced and Eric knew what he had to do.
Following in John’s footsteps Eric volunteered for the Tomb Guard Platoon and enjoyed the long hours of training and eventually completed the requirements to earn Tomb Guard Identification Badge #460. Eric states that “My time as a guard was an amazing experience and prepared me for challenges I would face in the future. If I had to choose a favorite moment from my time at the Tomb I would say the Capitol breakfast with so many Medal of Honor recipients was the best. Experiencing stories told by men who paved the way for our time is still inspirational to this day. I always had a deep respect for what we did for the warriors who were buried in Arlington, but the living warriors that could share the knowledge from their battles is the pinnacle for me.”
Eric was present during the disinterment of the Vietnam Unknown Soldier in May 1998 and remembers “I was there for the disinterment, and carried the casket that night. I felt like I was reliving what the internment would have been like. The emotion of burying a Soldier that represents our gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice it seemed as solemn to me when we moved the casket out that night. The log book has a rusty smeared thumb print from my gloves after moving the casket that night.”
While still in training at the Tomb, Eric married his high school sweetheart, Dawn Guidry, in June of 1997 and their daughter Shelby arrived not long after that.
At the end of 2000 Eric was offered an opportunity while home on leave to apply as a police officer in Lafayette Louisiana. Seeing this a as chance for continued service and be able to be close to family and friends, he attended the police academy and began work as a Lafayette City Police officer. During his time as a police officer Eric served as a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team member, canine handler and narcotics agent saying “I was very fortunate to attend many schools, and serve in specialized units for most of my law enforcement career.”
In 2004 Eric was approached to apply for a contract security job with the Department of State, and as a result spent the next nine years working in various positions between Iraq and Afghanistan on protective details, as well as being an instructor for new contractors in combatives and firearms training. Lucky enough to survive three separate Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) attacks, and almost ending up in a Pakistani jail, Eric decided to head home and be with his family. While still no longer with the Lafayette City Police, Eric is a reserve deputy with the local Sheriff’s Department.
In 2010 Eric started teaching a personal self-defense system, as well as firearms instruction from a reality based training approach. In 2012 his company, Broken Arrow Emergency Systems, became reality and he has it is one of only three approved simunition training companies in Louisiana, and the only simunition training company in Lafayette. The company employs four regular instructors that help with various classes including a former Special Forces Medic (18D) for the trauma first aid classes, a black belt in Ju Jitsu that helps for the self-defense, and a former US Navy SEAL and police SWAT member for the firearms and building clearing courses.
“I maintained the same approach to training and equipment; it is a complete system for survival. We can’t train firearms without training knives, empty hand techniques and the mindset to survive these threats. You also must train first aid, and basic survival skills or you don’t have a plan, you just have a list of things you’ve done. We have instructed law enforcement agencies, military instructors, and civilians to be better prepared for realistic threats.”
The company offers classes in basic, intermediate, and advanced pistol and rifle firearms courses. These start with safety and fundamentals and progress to positions, movement, and shoot don't shoot scenario live fire exercises. They also offer a course on “Surviving a Knife” encounter, and Knife Warrior, Trauma First aid, Surviving the Active Shooter, Building Clearing for everyday threats, Self Defense training (which is broken up into 3 levels and 3 curriculums).
Broken Arrow Emergency Systems is always adding new products, and curriculums. They are currently working on a YouTube channel, podcast, and online video tutorials for basic tactical skills. They also are organizing an advanced multiday “complete mission” styled event that will be called the Black Arrow Missions, and it will require the participants to utilize all of the skills needed to survive various types of threats.
You can find Eric on Facebook, and check out his company at www.BrokenArrowLA.com
“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”
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Did you know?
Is the rifle that the Sentinel carries loaded?
Tomb Guards carry fully functional M14 rifles. Given the current climate surrounding the relatively recent tragic events in Canada (attack upon the guard at the Canadian War Memorial), we will no longer be answering questions relating to specifics regarding current security and armament at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We appreciate your understanding.
Rest assured, that the US Army has the post secured as it has been since we started guard duty at the shrine in 1926.