Battle Buddy

My laptop. It’s like my rifle while in the Marine Corps. It goes everywhere with me. I need it to be quick and functional. Ready to use at a moments notice. Lately though, that hasn’t been the case.

Wide shot of MacBook Pro. Photo:Benjamin J. Gautreaux

You see my laptop is almost 10 years old. I got it in 2010. That’s when I was at LSU for the first time. It’s got 4gbs of ram, a 500gb hard-drive and a sh*tty graphics card. It’s outdated, old and slow to say the least. But it keeps working.

Close shot of MacBook Pro Photo: Benjamin J Gautreaux

It’s a symbol to me for my college career. I’m old and outdated (At least it feels like it). I’m still here though. I’ve been through some sh*t but I’m still here. Just like my laptop, I’m dented, scratched up and I move a little slow, but I still work. It’s an embodiment of the Warrior Ethos. Even if you’re beat down and overwhelmed. You’re surrounded. Death is approaching.  You keep f*cking fighting. Don’t quit. My laptop has that fight in it. It inspires me to have the same energy within myself.

Slim Down to Shape Up

The strong gonna get weak, and the weak gonna die.

Joseph Riley
Current weight and body fat.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Joseph Gautreaux

So far the Strong Lifts 5×5 program has been going to plan. I’ve gained strength rapidly, especially in my squats going from 90-185. Although, to be transparent I haven’t been going to gym religiously. I have also integrated the A&S Short Card into my routine on my off days from the Strong Lifts. Let me be the first to tell you that I haven’t been broke the f*ck off like that in a while.

Results from my first short card experience.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Joseph Gautreaux

I’ve also made the decision to cut weight until I reach a lean 155-160 pounds. Then lean bulk to 175.

Me circa 2013 at my peak. I plan on cutting down to approximately this size.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Joseph Gautreaux

Leaning out shouldn’t be to hard now that I’ve gotten my fat*ss up and got moving. Getting my diet into check will probably be the hardest part. Check back in for weekly progress pictures and weight updates.


I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let… Lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may.

-Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Window to the Soul

Late night view of West Third Street in Thibodaux, Louisiana.                  Photo Credit: Benjamin Joseph Gautreaux

The early morning hours (2-5 A.M.) are my golden hours. While most people sleep, I embrace the quietness. I make a home out of the darkness. It is at these times that I do my best work.  It is at this moment, where no other sounds than white noise fill the air, that one may truly find theirself. Alone, I can work out the kinks and creases that plague my soul. I am constantly changing and wish to never be perfect. For once you are perfect, you are complete. May I never be complete.

Chow is Continuous

Being the college students that my girlfriend and I are, our eating schedules often vary tremendously from day to day. That being said, I like to have a few quick recipes for generally healthy foods. Tonight at 2300, for example, I whipped up these delicious baked garlic and basil pork chops in under 20 minutes.

Garlic Basil Pork Chops


  1. 2 peeled cloves garlic
  2. 1/4 cup (packed) fresh basil
  1. 1/2 tsp salt
  2. 1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  3. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2 tbsp lemon juice
  5. 1 pack of pork chops (4-6 pieces)


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
    Place cloves in food processor until throughly minced. Add fresh basil. Once finely chopped add salt, pepper, oil and lemon juice. Process until ingredients become a paste.
    Coat a baking sheet with olive oil, then place pork chops evenly on tray.
    Rub paste on one side of pork chop, then flip and apply to the opposite side.
    Place baking sheet inside oven and cook for approximately 14-17 minutes.
    Take out and let cool for 3-5 minutes, then enjoy!


Occurring within the individual mind or self

Sometimes, I just need to take a moment to relax and look at myself introspectively. Internal dialogue helps to create new goals, as well as get rid of self-doubt.

“The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.”

-General James “Mad Dog” Mattis

Mental Health

In the veteran community, the risk of suicide is constantly present. Most service members know of another service member who has taken their life. These people often take their life due to various circumstances they cannot bear any longer. For myself, I know that I have been in some very low places that I almost didn’t make it out of. It’s important, I think, to open up dialogue so that discussions about mental health in the veteran community isn’t seen as taboo by members. We have to do a better job of policing our own. If you or any one you know are struggling with mental health or the thought of suicide, find someone (anyone) to talk to or call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Gilberto Burbante


Name: Gilberto Burbante

Age: 35

Hometown: Morgan City, Louisiana

Position: Nicholls State University Veterans Coordinator Branch of Service: United States Marine Corps and United States Army National Guard

Time in the Suck

Burbante started his time in service back in 2002 when he took his vacation to Parris Island.  After being assigned to 3/4 (3rd Battalion, 4th Marines) in 29 stumps (Twentynine Palms, California) back in 2002, he deployed to the suck back in ‘03. Burbante was one of the first Marines to hook and jab his way through Baghdad doing other hood rat sh*t with his friends until the “Thundering Third” would ultimately be remembered for knocking down Saddam Hussein’s statue in Firdos Square. Burbante’s return home would be short. Being the hard-charger that he was, he quickly redeployed two more times, once in ’04 as part of Operation Vigilant Resolve, and again in ‘05 to Fallujah.

Return to Camp Couch

After unblousing his boots for what he thought would be the last time, Burbante attended Nicholls State University in ‘06, which is only a hand grenades throw from his hometown of Morgan City.  Like most veterans who return home and attend school or go into the workforce, he struggled with the transition of leading Marines through CQB (Close Quarters Battle) in the streets of Fallujah against the Iraqi Insurgency to being another mouth-breathing goon getting told what to do at his freshman orientation. He pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government while growing his brotherhood by joining the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon.  While still attending Nicholls, Burbante would strap up the J’s one more time for Team America and became a commissioned officer in United States Army National Guard.

Life Goes On

After finishing school and his stint with the Army National Guard Burbante still keeps himself in physical and mental fighting shape to stave off becoming fat and not being able to actively participate in his son’s life. He still trains 5 times a week, Monday through Friday, but his diet has a different look now.  Pizza and beer are now replaced with healthy alternatives.  He stated he has to watch his carb and sugar intake, as well as having to pound water to prevent himself from being a fat-body.  Check out this quote from the hard charger himself:


“I’d follow him to hell and back if he promises it’ll be a fun time”- Cody Guidry, Nicholls State Student, Army Veteran

“He’s very family oriented and strives to aid his students. He’s just an all-around good guy.”- Emilee Evans, Nicholls State Student, Dependent

Into the Fire

A new week. A new book. Gotta stay tight between the ears. What better way to start off the week then with a good read by a god d*mn big d*ck gunslinging war hero like Medal of Honor Recipient Dakota Meyer. Stay frosty.

Proper Preparation

Today, as most, reminded me of why it’s important to always stay prepped. Whether that’s physically, mentally, or materialistic, well I guess the situation dictates. While moving into a new apartment my girlfriend and I some how forgot to get f*cking steak knives, or any kind of sharp knife for that matter. I’m glad I always carry my Kershaw because with out it I would’ve been screwed plenty of times during this move including while trying to eat this piece of boudin. Stay prepped and stay frosty.

No Days Off

Even on Sunday we must put in work if we wish to succeed. Follow us on Instagram @gritgutsgumption and Snapchat @gritgutgumption

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