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Belize, Louisiana cousins meet at Officer Candidate School

July 4, 2021 GMT

CAMP BEAUREGARD, La. (AP) — The Louisiana National Guard’s Officer Candidate School brought together cousins from Belize and Louisiana who had never heard of each other.

Renon Baizar, of Punta Gorda, is among several Belize Defense Force soldiers who attended the Louisiana National Guard school at Camp Beauregard as part of a state partnership program.

Savannah Baizar grew up in Las Vegas and is now in the Louisiana National Guard’s Forward Support Company, 528th Engineer Battalion out of Monroe, Louisiana.

The two met during drill on June 3 and immediately discovered physical traits in common, along with having the same last name, a national guard news release said.

Renon Baizar laughed. “In our family we have nearly identical noses, so I know, all right, this is probably my cousin,” he said.

Savannah Baizar said, “My father’s side of the family is from Belize, and our skin has a distinct look.”

She consulted with her father, and the Baizars were able to confirm that they were second cousins.

They said they hope to build stronger family ties going forward.