Paul Rainwater retires from military _lowres

Gov. Bobby Jindal congratulates Col. Paul Rainwater after receiving the Legion of Merit for his dedications and leadership to the Louisiana National Guard during a retirement ceremony held Tuesday at the Governor’s Mansion. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Toby M. Valadie, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office/ Released)

Paul Rainwater served as a top adviser to U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Gov. Bobby Jindal – all the while serving in either the Army Reserves or the Louisiana National Guard.

So it seemed appropriate that Col. Rainwater – wearing tan fatigues – retired from the military and got a sendoff with honors at the Governor’s Mansion Tuesday night, with staffers for Landrieu, Blanco and Jindal in attendance, among others.

Jindal warmly lauded Rainwater and pinned the Legion of Merit on his chest, and Major Gen. Glenn Curtis, the adjutant general of the National Guard, gave him a certificate of appreciation from President Barack Obama.

During his 32 years in the military, Rainwater deployed in 2001 to Kuwait and Afghanistan and in 2004 to Kuwait and Iraq, and he assisted with evacuating Louisiana residents after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac.

In his last government post, Rainwater served as Jindal’s chief of staff, leaving in 2014. He told the crowd in the mansion’s living room that he was Curtis’ boss during the work week as chief of staff but served under him on weekends during guard duty.

Rainwater, 53, now works as a lobbyist for businesses and nonprofits.

Asked what he would do with his military fatigues, Rainwater said, “I will fold them up and put them in the closet.”