Get on your bike and ride!
Story & Photos by Becki L. Zschiedrich | Public Affairs
Gulfport resident Grant Lapointe keeps in great shape by riding his bike. His love for this exercise started back in 1992 when he was living in Germany and he hasn’t stopped. Grant tries to ride between 15 – 20 miles a day. He moved to AFRH-G in August of 2018 and has chalked up over 2,100 miles mostly by riding his bike on the boardwalk on the beach. He also likes to power-walk around the walking trail at the Home, in addition to spending time in the fitness room and doing serious stair climbing exercises.
Grant was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1947 and was raised in the California Bay area. He joined the U.S. Army in 1966, and upon completion of Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT), was awarded the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of Supply and Accountability Specialist. His very first permanent party assignment was at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, then in Giessen, Germany for around a year and a half. He was then deployed to Pleiku, Vietnam where he served fourteen months in the Vietnam War. While serving there, Grant attained the rank of Sergeant (E-5) and his MOS changed to Unit and Organizational Supply Sergeant.
After Vietnam, he got out of the Army under Expired Term of Service (ETS). Grant said he had to stop and think things over after serving in the war. He felt like he had to back up and regroup. During this time, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen. After fourteen months, he re-joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Kornwestheim, Germany for three years. For the next few years he was put on an ROTC assignment at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. One of his additional duties was coaching the ROTC rifle team, where small bore .22 caliber rifles were utilized in match competition among the other different ROTC campuses within the University of Wisconsin. He was then transferred back to Germany, serving in Heilbronn. From there he went to Fort Hood, Texas for a couple of years. Then, it was back to Germany. First, he went to Ramstein AFB, Germany and then Pirmasens, Germany. His last stop before retiring, as a sergeant first class (E-7) in 1987, was on reserve component duty at Fort Indiantowngap, Pennsylvania. After retiring from the military Grant’s logistical military experience facilitated him for work in various contractor jobs in support of U.S. Forces in Germany.
Grant is proud to be retired from the U.S. Army. He said his experience taught him order, discipline, confidence and prepared him for work after he retired. He has two sons: Lance, who lives in Germany and Keith, who lives in the Bay area of California. When asked if he likes living at AFRH-G he said, “I was sold when I rolled up in the parking lot. I saw that bike trail across the street on the beach and that was it. I knew I wanted to live here.” Besides biking, Grant’s other hobbies include reading, watching boxing and football. Growing up in the Bay area he is an avid San Francisco 49ers fan. Being that he lives in the south now, when asked if he would consider converting to a Saints fan he responded with: “I’d rather undergo a dozen root canals!” Looks like Grant will be cheering on his beloved 49ers solo because the majority of residents and employees at AFRH-G love the New Orleans Saints.