News

A Tribute to a heroic Metis veteran, Leo Goulet

April 28, 2014

The heroic contributions and self-sacrifices of Métis veterans and those who died at Juno Beach on DDay were finally recognized in 2009.

A very special guest on the trip that year was Leo Goulet, who in 1943 at the age of 20 years old, was one of 400 infantrymen with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and among the 14,000 Canadians who stormed Juno Beach June 6, 1944.

He and 75 others in his regiment survived the landing only to be captured by the Nazis three days later. After spending 10 months in a prisoner of war camp he was forced into a death march westward across Poland, Czechoslovakia and Germany. He weighed only 94 lbs when he was liberated by Patton’s Army.

 

Leo Goulet was honored to receive the Order of the Metis.

 

Leo received the Order of the Metis, and as also a member of the Aboriginal Veterans Society of Alberta. Goulet lived with Rosanna, his wife of 62 years, on the Atikameg (Whitefish Lake) First Nation, 430 kilometres north of Edmonton.

Our revered Metis men and women of the past were among the most selfless our present generation has ever seen said MMF President David Chartrand. “Leo Goulet was a shining example of that generation. Let us carry their memories in our hearts to ensure their efforts were not in vain as they accomplished so much and left a lasting legacy of freedom, peace and hope to all of us.”

“Words cannot express our gratitude at your selfless sacrifice. May God bless Leo and keep him always.”

Leo Goulet stands before a memorial during ceremonies to honour Metis veterans of WWII, at Juno Beach Centre, near Caen, Normandy, France, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009.

 

Canadian Metis veteran Leo Goulet poses with his friend, Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand during the Juno Beach trip.

 

No Longer Forgotten - See veteran Leo Goulet at 7:24

 

Message from the President

It is with profound sorrow that we mourn the loss of World War II Veteran Leo Goulet.  Originally from Manitoba and a soldier of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Leo leaves to mourn his wife of 62 years, Rosanna and their family.

Leo was just 20 years old when he landed on D-Day and was among the other 14,000 Canadians who stormed Juno Beach on June 6, 1944. He and 75 others in his regiment survived the landing only to be captured by the Nazis.  Leo remained a Prisoner of War until the allies liberated Europe 10 months later.

We often forget that freedom is not free.  We are saddened at the great cost Leo and his entire family has paid for our freedom.

We must all remember that Leo was not just a soldier; he was a husband, a son and brother, an uncle and nephew, a father, grandfather, great-grandfather and a friend.  He was important to all his family and friends and we must never forget Leo’s sacrifice to serve our country, a sacrifice that will remain imprinted on those who love him for years to come. 

It was an honour and a privilege to return to Juno Beach with Leo in November 2009. With his quick wit and ready smile, we shared many laughs on our journey. While Leo was a quiet, private man who didn't like to talk in great detail of his experiences at war, we were fortunate for those memories he did share and I will treasure my time with Leo and will honour his memory and his great sacrifice for our freedom.

I am eternally grateful for the service of our Metis World War II Veteran Leo Goulet and with my words, I am sending comfort and prayers to Rosanna and Leo’s entire family, and to all that have known him.

May he rest in peace,
President David Chartrand


Read More News