Exhibit honoring veterans includes Fort Kent native
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Health Care Association honored the accomplishments of 35 people living in the state’s long-term-care facilities, including Maine Veterans’ Home Caribou resident Michaul Gaudreau, at a ceremony held recently at the Augusta Civic Center.
This is the 17th annual celebration of the photography exhibit Remember ME, which features the black and white photographs and biographies of citizens living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities statewide. Residents ranging in age from 55 to 98 are decorated war heroes, mothers and fathers, and community leaders such as doctors, journalists, teachers and small-business owners.
Gaudreau, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, was raised in Fort Kent, the youngest of 12 siblings. After living in Connecticut for a year after the service, home called, and he came back to Fort Kent. Even though he earned two Purple Hearts from injuries he sustained in Vietnam, he said, what he will always consider his most important accomplishments are raising his two daughters with his wife, Diane, of 51 years.
The primary purpose of the Remember ME project is to salute the people who have spent the best years of their lives supporting their families, building their communities and serving their state and country. The project also urges the public, including lawmakers, to remember the selfless contributions of our elderly and disabled citizens who now depend on others for their care and safety.
According to Nadine Grosso, MHCA vice president and communications director, “Just because these residents are less visible in the community doesn’t mean that we should forget their important contributions to our state and country. After giving to others all of their lives, they now depend on us for their daily medical and social care and we take that responsibility very seriously. This photographic tribute and recognition ceremony is our way of remembering them and saying thank you.”
“It’s an honor to have Mr. Gaudreau here at MVH Caribou,” said Administrator Melissa Graham. “The love for his family, especially his six grandchildren, is evident. He’s also a joy to the MVH community. He’s always up for going bowling with fellow residents or using his hands to create art projects — he was a carpenter in Fort Kent. He’s also known to root on his favorite New England sports teams.”
Since its inception, the Remember ME program has recognized 602 long-term-care residents statewide.