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Cards wanted for New Hampshire D-Day vet alone for 98th birthday

Candles spelling "Happy Birthday" (Ed g2s/WikiCommons)

A D-Day veteran, one of the first to storm Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, is slated to spend his 98th birthday alone next week.

Because of COVID-19, Raymond “Red’ Goulet can’t have visitors or get outside to make his usual social rounds. He also doesn’t have a computer.

Friends, loved ones and complete strangers have taken to social media to solicit birthday cards be mailed to Goulet — who lives in the Portsmouth Housing Authority’s Margeson Apartments — for his birthday on Thursday, Jan. 14. While the cards won’t replace the genuineness of human connection, they’ll let a World War II veteran know he hasn’t been forgotten amid a state of the world where so many elderly have been forced to isolate.

Birthday cards can be sent to Raymond Goulet at 245 Middle Street, Apt. 324, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 03801.

Currently, all PHA buildings housing multiple individuals and families, like Margeson, are closed to non-essential visitors due to the coronavirus.

Goulet was a 21-year-old U.S. Army technical sergeant when he landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, and helped begin the liberation of Europe from the Nazis. Goulet was one of three brothers who enlisted in the Army during World War II, and all three returned home.

Goulet has been an active Pease Greeter, and in 2017 was honored by the Portsmouth Police Department with a special luncheon with its highest-ranking officers. At that time, Goulet still carried the very same wallet he had in his pocket on D-Day.

Facebook posts requesting cards be sent to Goulet have gathered countless comments. Teachers wrote they’ll get their young students involved. Some people said they want to send gift cards, too.

One person recalled pumping Goulet’s gas at Circle K and having “a great conversation.” A former Market Basket cashier remembered him coming to her register.

“He would always talk to me!” she wrote. “I miss seeing him and I’m definitely sending him a birthday card!”

One friend commented that Goulet “misses his walk from his apartment to Popovers.”

Birthday cards can be sent to Raymond Goulet at 245 Middle Street, Apt. 324, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 03801.


(c) 2021 Portsmouth Herald

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