It might be easier to list what Don Goulet hasn’t done. In Vietnam, he was a combat soldier who faced gunfire, took shrapnel and came home with a pair of purple hearts. He was a border patrol officer and then an agent for the FBI, where he tailed the Mafia and went undercover to bust up a cigarette smuggling operation between Maine and Canada. He wrote a book called “Chesuncook” about the war, about his own personal breakdown and about his years with the FBI. While most people pondered with joy the idea of retiring, Goulet went to work helping the disabled, the homeless and those fighting addictions

Before any of that, he was a Boy Scout. Now the Lewiston man has become a vocal opponent of the proposed sale of Camp Gustin, where he spent many of his childhood days. We caught up with Goulet recently as he set off for many nights in the woods, not hunting enemy soldiers or criminals this time, but a more wild kind of prey.

Get your deer yet? I haven’t tagged out on a deer yet but hope to next week. I’ve got a big bruiser in mind that may not survive next winter’s harsh conditions.

Where and when did you serve in Vietnam? I served in Viet Nam as a grunt marine from late September of 1966 to the middle of September 1967. The area of operation I was assigned to was the I Corps area, which encompassed such cities as Chu Lai, DaNang, Phu Bai and smaller villages like Tam Ky.

What did you do first when you got home? When I first arrived back home from my tour of duty, I was greeted by my parents and relatives. I then had Dad cook me a thin hamburger on Country Kitchen bread with a bit of onion, as that was what I craved the most while in ‘nam.

What kinds of people did you investigate as an FBI agent? I investigated corrupt police officers in Indiana as well as large-scale cocaine distributors and fugitives from that trade. In New York City, I first investigated the Hells Angels New York Chapter, targeting Chuck Zito, the vice president at the time. I then went on to investigate members of the Luchesse, Gambino and Genovese crime family members. For three years, I was assigned to the most prestigious squad the FBI had, and that was the break-in squad. I was a participant in the John Gotti break-in at the Ravenite Club. After being transferred to Maine, I investigated the war chief of the Mohawk Warrior Society, with the help of Fred Moore, a Native American police chief who worked under cover for the FBI.

Did you wear dark glasses? I wore dark glasses very infrequently as I was not the Hollywood type, but a hard working street agent.

How hard was it dredging it all up for your book “Chesuncook”? The tough part of writing “Chesuncook” was the reconciliation I had to make with God and My Savior, Christ Our Lord. Additionally, it was difficult for me to write about my bout with insanity and associated moderate-to-heavy drinking and the pain it caused my family. Reliving my moments of combat and remembering those who died in my presence was also difficult. Father Vincent Capoddano, a Medal of Honor recipient, was one such casualty. Father Cap died giving the last rites to dying marines and corpsmen, and is now being considered for sainthood. He was shot 27 times. In retrospect, writing “Chesuncook” with Fred Moore was a very cathartic experience.


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