Franco-American distinguished speakers at May 23 Veterans Program

LEWISTON, ME-  Distinguished Franco-American Veterans and diplomats to speak at May 23, 2017 program at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College.

It was an honor to present the May 23, 2017 Franco-Americans in International Service program speakers and public exhibits project at the Rotary Club of Lewiston Auburn Maine, with President Monique Roy.

Franco-American veterans

Rotarians Juliana L’Heureux, guest speaker and Portland Rotarian (left) and Monique Roy , President, at the Rotary Club of Lewiston Auburn on May 11, 2017, speaking about Franco-American veterans.

Highlights of the talk to Rotarians included the biographies of the distinguished program presenters.

Leading the Master of Ceremonies of the May 23 program is Major Adam Cote, of Sanford- a Bronze Star recipient veteran of military campaigns in Libya, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Cote served with the Maine National Guard earning Army Commendation Medals in Iraq and a Bronze Star Medal in Afghanistan, where he was commander of the 150th Engineer Company. Awarded for bravery, acts of merit or meritorious service in a combat zone, the Bronze Star is the fourth highest military award overall.  Major Cote is a Franco-American from Sanford Maine and announced his candidacy to run for Governor of Maine.

Ambassador Charles Dunbar will introduce his diplomatic service colleague, Col. Donald Dubay, USA-Ret.  Ambassador Dunbar was the former ambassador to Qatar and Yemen.

Colonel Donald Dubay, United States Army-Retired, a native of Lewiston and Auburn.  His military career had two distinct periods.  The first, lasting eight years, involved standard and advanced training, followed by assignments in various military intelligence specialties, including combat intelligence, counterintelligence, counterespionage, and human intelligence collection.

The second period of his career began with his acceptance into a new Army career field, as a Foreign Area Officer (FAO) for the Middle East and North Africa.  To become a FAO, Colonel Dubay underwent an extensive training program including language study (French and Arabic), overseas self-programmed regional travel and studies, based in Morocco, and graduate studies at a US university.

Thereafter, nearly every assignment was FAO related, including several tours as a US Defense Attache and as military advisor to host country military forces, and increasingly senior assignments on the US Army staff as analyst and advisor to US Army leadership, as an assistant professor with a Department of Defense institute, and on the Joint Staff as the senior strategic planner for the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Iraq and the Persian Gulf.

Colonel Dubay graduated from Edward Little High School in Auburn Maine and he is an alumn of the University of Maine in Orono.  He is a Franco-American who grew up speaking French.

Lt. Col. Todd S. Desgrosseilliers, United States Marine Corps, retired. He  is a Maine native and a graduate of Edward Little High School in Auburn. Colonel Desgrosseilliers was awarded a Silver Star Medal for actions taken and leadership among his Marines during a trying and tough time fighting the enemy. He led Task Force Bruno in Fallujah, Iraq eliminating insurgent footholds in the city.  Colonel Desgrosseilliers is also the recipient of two purple hearts.

His personal awards include the Silver Star Medal, the Bronze Star Medal (With Combat Distinguishing Device and Gold Star in Lieu of Second Award), Purple Heart Medal (Gold Star in Lieu of Second Award), Meritorious Service Medal (Gold Star in Lieu of Second Award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (Gold Star in Lieu of 3rd Award), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.  He is a Franco-American and a graduate of Boston University.

Severin Beliveau is a Franco-American and the Honorary French Consular to Maine. He will speak about Albert Beliveau, his father who was a World War I Officer, who served with the army in France.  Severin was born in Rumford to a distinguished family of Maine lawyers and judges. His father, Albert J. Beliveau, Sr., was a justice of the Maine Supreme Court.

Severin is the recipient of the French Legion of Honor Award, the highest distinction France awards civilians, for his leadership on key projects to improve the relationship between Maine and France (2008)

President of the American Association of the Forum Francophone des Affaires, the Maine-based United States chapter of a worldwide alliance of 36 French-speaking nations working to promote economic development through business, industry and technology exchanges.

The public is invited to attend the May 23, 2017 program at USM LAC on Westminister Street in Lewiston, beginning with a reception at 5 PM. This program is free and open to the public.

Franco-Americans in International Service is a program sponsored by the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College (USM LAC) with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Juliana L'Heureux

About Juliana L'Heureux

Juliana L’Heureux is a free lance writer who publishes news, blogs and articles about Franco-Americans and the French culture. She has written about the culture in weekly and bi-weekly articles, for the past 30 years.