Vietnam vet receives 2016 McQuillen Award

April 13, 2017

Scott McQuillen, left, presents the Maurice McQuillen Award to Paul Chevalier at the New Hampshire Union Leader on Thursday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

(Note:  Paul Chevalier is volunteer chairman of New Hampsire Vets4Energy)

As a career Marine who joined the service in 1954 after graduating from high school, Paul Chevalier did three tours of duty in Vietnam.

When he arrived home in 1965, no one knew what or where Vietnam was. A year later, people at the airport in Oakland, Calif., derided his service and spat on him. In 1969, commanders told him to take off his uniform and wear civilian clothes, he said.

Those experiences prompted him to stay involved in veterans organizations once he retired as a brigade sergeant major.

“I thought I would do as much as I could to make the military more welcome at home,” Chevalier said Thursday.

Chevalier spoke as he received the 2016 Maurice L. McQuillen Award in recognition of his service to fellow veterans. Chevalier, who is 80, is the 37th recipient of the award, which was founded in 1981 and named after an Army World War II veteran who was the first editor of the Union Leader Veterans Page.

The award was presented by McQuillen’s son, Manchester resident Scott McQuillen.

As a Marine, Chevalier earned seven Bronze Stars and commendation and meritorious service medals. He was promoted to sergeant major in 1976. When he retired in 1985, he was the senior enlisted adviser to the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.

A resident of Hudson, Chevalier has held leadership roles for the Veterans of Foreign Wars on the local level (Portsmouth Hovey Post 168), state level and federal level.

He has sat on boards that oversee the state Veterans Home and the state Veterans Cemetery, as well as national VFW boards that decide positions on political issues. He has helped the campaigns of numerous politicians, ranging from Donald Trump to Craig Benson.

And most recently, Chevalier has worked on an effort to send nine aging New Hampshire veterans of the Vietnam War to an international commemorative event next month in Hawaii.

So far, the effort has generated $25,000, but another $5,000 is needed, said Cathie Chevalier, Chevalier’s wife and the past state president of the VFW Auxiliary...

Read entire article at New Hampshire Union Leader.


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