Local veteran Terrence Carter has a lot to teach others about helping the community, exercising humility and, above all else, the importance of knowledge and our duty to pass it along.
Carter was born in Cadiz, Ohio as the youngest of seven siblings. His family has been closely intertwined within the military, with many of Carter’s uncles serving along with his brothers.
“I was raised in a small town like Leesville. That’s why I have no urge to leave,” Carter said. “I like the closeness of people. Being able to talk to people and really meet them for themselves. Everybody knows everybody and you just enjoy life.”
Carter joined the military in June 1997 at the age of 32 as a Chaplain’s Assistant. His duties took him to several places, serving time in Korea, Iraq, the Arlington National Cemetery and Alaska.
Carter was one of the first responders at the Pentagon crash site during the September 11, 2001 attacks.
He transferred to Alaska in 2003, before being stationed in Fort Polk in 2007.
Ever since, Carter has been connecting with the community however he can. In 2008, he joined the Knights of Columbus where he serves today as the financial secretary.
Carter medically retired from the military in 2014, though his service to the community did not stop there. He worked with Pickering High School as the girls track team coach in 2017.
He helped older veterans make their way to the Veteran Affairs office before the opening of the Veteran’s Place in Leesville.
Carter has been all over Leesville doing whatever he can to give back to the community and the people he has come to know along the way. “That was the biggest thing I learned from the Army – give back,” Carter said. “Give back. That’s what I’m trying to teach the kids, I like to give them knowledge. And that’s why I come here [The Veterans Place]. I can listen to people give me knowledge.”
Currently, Carter works at the Fort Polk commissary with his daughter and son, helping to establish a sense of direction and work ethic with his own children.
When he’s not working with his kids or the community at large, Carter has his own passions. “I’m a camera geek,” Carter said.
He has taken many photos during his service in the military, using his photos to help people keep track of their family members in the armed forces and communicate with them about those family members.
The next time you see Carter, no doubt providing aid to the community in some shape or form, be sure to thank him for his service, both in the military and now. Lend him an ear, and you’ll no doubt become another become another member of his home in Leesville.
“For not being from Leesville, I’ve met so many people that it feels like home. No, it is home,” Carter said.