Musician John Boutte reunited with army helmet 40 years later

Musician John Boutte reunited with army helmet 40 years later
FILE PHOTO: A New Orleans musician was reunited with his army helmet 40 years after turning in his gear. (JackSellaire/Pixabay/JackSellaire/Pixabay)

NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans musician was reunited with his army helmet 40 years after turning in his gear. 

Musician John Boutte, 61, was in the ROTC when he graduated from Xavier University of New Orleans in 1983 and became a lieutenant in the Army, where he was stationed in Korea, WDSU reported.

After leaving the Army, Boutte focused on a career in music. He is a frequent performer around New Orleans including at Jazz Holiday. His song “Treme Song” was used in the HBO show “Treme.” 

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But he always wished he had kept his helmet.

"It reminds me of my youth and all the promise that it held," Boutte told WDSU

A friend of his was at a California flea market when he came across a unique find — an Army helmet still inscribed with Boutte’s name. The friend sent it to Boutte last week.

A friend discovered this in a flea market in California. It’s my combat helmet from Korea 1983 . With my handwriting and it still fits like a glove . He sent it to me . What are the odds of that happening ?

Posted by John Boutté on Thursday, July 16, 2020

“This brings back a lot of memories of the wonderful people I served with in Korea and the wonderful Korean people,” Boutte said. “I’ve never written anything about my military experience, so maybe there is a song in there.”