New secretary of defense has local ties

Published 2:47 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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One of President Joe Biden’s recent Cabinet appointments has a connection to Washington Parish.

On Jan. 22, Ret. Gen. Lloyd Austin was named as the new U.S. Secretary of Defense. Austin hails from Mobile, Ala., and has a long record in the U.S. Army. He was the Commanding General of U.S. Forces in Iraq, Army Vice Chief of Staff, and served as 12th Commander of United States Central Command, from which he retired as a four-star general.

Austin is the first African-American to be selected as defense secretary.

Austin also has a special connection to Washington Parish and Bogalusa. His only surviving uncle is LeBaron Taylor, priest-in-charge of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Bogalusa.

Father Taylor and his entire family are overwhelmed with joy at Austin’s appointment and hope that when it is safe, their large and loving family will be able to celebrate with him.