Category: <span>Armand Charest</span>

The Second Visit

This has been edited for obvious spelling and grammatical errors, and formatted for best presentation on this website.  Otherwise, this story is exactly as Armand wrote it.

This is the second part of Armand’s story about traveling in Albania. In Part I he discussed his first trip there with a private aid group originating in Naples, Italy. At that time Armand was staying with my first wife and I just south of Naples, while I was stationed there with NATO. Several months after his first trip, Armand went back on his own to perform additional relief work and explore. This is his account of the second trip.

Armand wrote and attempted to have his story, “Eyewitness to 1984,” published about 1997. He did get Part I published in a travel magazine that folded immediately afterwards. As Armand retained copyrights and publications rights, he let me also publish it on a travel website I operated at the time. However, this is the first time the second part of his story has ever been published.

This has been edited for obvious spelling and grammatical errors, and formatted for best presentation on this website. Otherwise, this story is exactly as Armand wrote it.

Chapter One – Ulli

Armand Charest in 2000
Armand Charest in 2000

It was with a sense of apprehension and anticipation that I embarked on my second trip to Albania in August, 1992. I wondered if my mixed emotions were due to the fear of undertaking a journey alone to a strange country. But I considered myself a seasoned traveler and I had been there before. So I had to admit to myself that my hesitation had something to do with discovering that perhaps some of our unfinished projects were just that. I realized also that I looked forward to seeing the lady doctor again. There was only one certainty—this trip would be on a more personal level than the first one.

Armand Charest

Armand Charest in 2000
Armand Charest in 2000

The Charest-Frenchette Family in America: A Success Story

Editors Note: Shortly before my father had his stroke which ultimately was fatal, I managed to convince him to write some stories and family history. I promised him I would get them at least published on a family website if he did. Well, with a lot of “encouragement” from myself and possibly my brother Howard, Dad did write some of the family stories. This is part III in a three part series.

I have taken the liberty of re-formatting Dad’s writings to be suitable for this website. Otherwise, I have posted them as written. I may on occasion add some editorial comments of my own; these will be clearly marked when I do.
   Ron Charest

Part III: Winding Down the War, and Afterwards Chapter 17

Rest, Relaxation, and Retraining

The division entered a period of rest and rehabilitation. New recruits filled the depleted ranks of the rifle companies; we received new clothing and weapon all line companies entered into extensive training, melding the new inexperienced soldiers with the veterans. So, at the ripe old age of nineteen, I was a veteran.

Armand Charest

Armand Charest in 2000
Armand Charest in 2000

The Charest-Frenchette Family in America: A Success Story

Editors Note: Shortly before my father had his stroke which ultimately was fatal, I managed to convince him to write some stories and family history. I promised him I would get them at least published on a family website if he did. Well, with a lot of “encouragement” from myself and possibly my brother Howard, Dad did write some of the family stories.

I have taken the liberty of re-formatting Dad’s writings to be suitable for this website. Otherwise, I have posted them as written. I may on occasion add some editorial comments of my own; these will be clearly marked when I do.
 Ron Charest.

Part II – The Pacific Engagements

Chapter 6

Armand ships out for the South Pacific and Combat Action…

I reported to Texas in late August of 1943 for seventeen weeks of basic infantry training. It was rough going at first, especially the long hikes over dusty Texas roads. But soon enough I became accustomed to the daily routine of exercise, training and close-order marching. I gained twenty-five pounds and grew three inches in height.

Armand Charest

Armand Charest in 2000
Armand Charest in 2000

The Charest-Frenchette Family in America: A Success Story

Editors Note: Shortly before my father had his stroke which ultimately was fatal, I managed to convince him to write some stories and family history. I promised him I would get them at least published on a family website if he did. Well, with a lot of “encouragement” from myself and possibly my brother Howard, Dad did write some of the family stories. This is part I of a three part series.

I have taken the liberty of re-formatting Dad’s writings to be suitable for this website. Otherwise, I have posted them as written. I may on occasion add some editorial comments of my own; these will be clearly marked when I do.
  Ron Charest

Part I – Growing Up in Rhode Island

Chapter 1

The Charest family traces its ancestry with any definite knowledge to Canada as early as 1812. The ancestral home in France has never been definitely established. Some family members feel that the earliest settlers in Canada came from Central France; others feel that Normandy is the likeliest home; others say that the first Charest came from Lacadie, France.

Armand Charest

An Aid Mission to Albania

This story was written by the late Armand Charest in May, 2001, recalling his experiences performing relief work in Albania. This is Part 1 of a two part story. This story was edited for format and obvious spelling errors, but is otherwise exactly as written by the author.

Prologue

Armand Charest in 2000
Armand Charest in 2000

In June, 1992, I joined a group of American military personnel, who were stationed at the NATO base in Southern Italy, to do humanitarian work in two state run orphanages and a missionary hospital in Albania. An air force officer, Major Harvey Leister and his wife Maureen, a dedicated couple who had collected a sum of money through donations and fund raising activities to buy tools and hardware needed to modernize those institutions were the prime movers in that enterprise. Our desire was to help, in some way, the citizens of that stricken country after the overthrow of their oppressive dictatorship in 1989.

Armand Charest