I am writing this segment from a camp in Jefferson where Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation (MASR) is hosting the Veterans No Boundaries (VNB) program. MASR promotes year-round education and training for individuals with disabilities in order to develop skills, enhance independence, and provide enjoyment through active recreation. Twice a year we (I’m a MASR volunteer) host veterans with disabilities and their families from all around the country; In August at Camp Wavus in Jefferson and in January at Sunday River Ski Resort. The program is free for all participants.
As I sit here, I hear the families being challenged on the climbing wall, kayaking on Lake Damariscotta, firing laser rifles on the range, riding recombinant bikes around the facility and just having fun! Kids see their Dad with disabilities doing things they never thought possible and doing things together that they thought would never happen again. The amazing thing is that this is just one organization supporting veterans in Maine. There are organizations providing equestrian therapy, recreational fishing and hunting, camps providing therapy for veterans with PTSD, organizations supporting veterans with companion animals and service dogs, and many others all free or at very low cost.
So, where do you go to find out about them? The good news is that the Maine Bureau of Veteran Services (MBVS) has produced a book, “Maine Veterans’ Benefits and Resource Guide,” that provides information on all of these programs. The guide is available at the American Legion Post in Boothbay and can be picked up by coming to our breakfast. Or, you can visit www.maine.gov/veterans where you have access to the Guide online. You can use an interactive map to see what programs are available and where. We are very fortunate in Maine to have a community who truly care about veterans and go the extra mile to support them.
On that same theme, a reminder that the American Legion has an emergency fund to help solve short term financial needs. A form that provides information demonstrating the financial need, an estimate from the organization providing the necessary services, and the veterans discharge paper (DD 214) is all that is required. Contact the American Legion post (633-4487) to learn more about it or to just apply.
Don’t forget to call the Legion (633-4487) to reserve a table at the Sept. 14 yard sale. It would be gratefully appreciated to sign up early so the yard sale organizers can be appropriately prepared. We currently have nine tables reserved. If you need storage space in advance, contact the Legion.
The next breakfast will be Sunday, Aug. 25. Spread the word, bring the family, bring your neighbors, make it a community event.