Henry Gagnon | MVH Caribou Veteran Stories | US Army

Author: MVH Caribou
Posted: April 29, 2019
Category: Maine Veterans of the Month
Henry Gagnon was born in Fort Kent, Maine, in December 1927, to Nancy and Amie Paul.  He had a brother named Melvin and a sister named Katherine.  Henry remembers the difficulties of surviving the Great Depression as a child, and says he ate his fair share of rabbits, porcupines, and frog legs.

Henry never got the opportunity to attend school, but worked with his father in northern Maine woods.  Working with his father deep in the woods, Henry developed a strong passion for hunting and fishing in the Maine wilderness.

In his early 20s, Henry was driving a truck for a living when he got word that he was to be drafted into the U.S. Army.  Henry left northern Maine and traveled to boot camp where he remembers practicing marching, shoot rifles, and combat skills training.  Despite the seriousness of the training, Henry still found the opportunity for what he calls "horseplay."  On one occasion Henry was involved in some "horseplay" that came to a rather inauspicious end when he fell twelve feet flat on his back on a concrete floor.  He injured his back and hip.  "I still like horseplay," he quips.

Henry has been married twice.  After his first wife passed away, Henry later married Mildred, and they have been married for 17 years and counties.  Henry had eight children, twenty-seven grandchildren and great-grandchildren who are spread out around the United States in Kentucky, Florida, and Presque Isle, Maine.  After his time in the military, Henry went back to driving big trucks.  He also loved to work with wood, building everything from dressers to barns. 

These days, Henry likes to build puzzles and visit with his friends at MVH Caribou.  He is a fan of country music and the movie Gunsmoke.  He has a 25-pound cat that visits him from time to time, and he likes sneaking cat treats to the home's dog, Colby.

"The best part here are the people," Henry said.  "They are all my sweethearts."

Thank you Henry for your service to our nation!

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