A Man on a Mission
RobertGroulx, of Sherbrooke, is a man on a mission and his only enemy is time. “My work is very urgent because our Veterans are getting older by the day,” said Mr. Groulx who has been asked to find World War II and Korean War Veterans, even deceased Veterans in the case
of the latter, who are eligible for several medals or certificates that have been recently created to honour them.
A former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, a member of the Royal Canadian Legion for fifty years including in the position of President of the Quebec Provincial Command, and now the vice-president of Dominion Command of the Army, Navy, Air Forces Veterans in Canada, Mr. Groulx explained how he ‘inherited’ his pressing and was with the Legion so long, the Department of Veterans Affairs knew me and called me about the French Legion of Honor Medals.” Mr. Groulx was also contacted, last year, by Veterans Affairs to help find Veterans of the Korean War. “Last year was the anniversary of the Armistice of Korea, so the Korean Consulate called Veterans Affairs to say they wanted to give medals to the Korean War Veterans in Canada, and so Veterans Affairs called me. I found thirty-four Korean War Vets, last year, and twenty-one of them were able to come in to Lennoxville for a ceremony to receive their Ambassador of Peace Medals and to sign the City of Sherbrooke’s Red Guard from the Quebec Citadel there for the occasion.”
Last year, Mr. Groulx was looking for Veterans living in the Eastern Townships who took part in the Korean War, or their spouses or descendants if deceased, and Veterans who took part in the Normandy Campaign in World War II to receive the French Legion of Honor Medal. Added to that list this year are all World War II Veterans who are now eligible for a certificate and a pin from the government of Canada, and all World War II Veterans who helped in any way in the liberation of France who are also now eligible to receive the French Legion of Honor Medal.
“When I met with the French Consulate earlier this year, I said ‘What about the Dieppe people? We lost about five thousand guys there’,” explained Mr. Groulx. As luck would have it, the President of France was in Montreal at the time and Mr. Groulx’s idea possibly reached his ears because the category of Veterans for the prestigious French medal was soon widened. “Even the guy who was transferred to England and spent the war filling the planes with bombs is now eligible for the French Legion of Honor Medal,” said Mr. Groulx.
“I’ve found eight more Korean veterans this year, and about fourteen World War II Veterans. I’m supposed to be covering the Eastern Townships but I’m
Robert Groulx was MC for the 60th anniversary of the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada Unit # 318, in Lennoxville.
Comrade John Rasmussen Veteran. Seen in the back is the Red Guard of Honor from the Quebec Citadelle (22nd Regiment).
One of the Korean Veterans, Sarge Bampton, receiving his certificate and medal from the Veterans’s Affair representative, Marie-Eve Roy, on July 27th passed away in October of this year.
Robert Groulx receiving the Lieutenant Gouverneur du Québec medal at Centennial Theatre, in Lennoxville, from the Honorable Pierre Duchesne.