American Legion Post 36

Tue, 09/27/2022 - 8:15am

This past weekend, Honor Flight Maine took 45 veterans on the flight to see the war memorials in Washington, D.C. On that flight was our own Dr. Barclay Shepard, Captain/US Navy (retired). When you see Barclay, first, thank him for his long career in the Navy and supporting our Vietnam veterans on the Hospital Ship USS Repose (AH-16) off the Vietnam Coast and then working at VA headquarters in D.C., and then ask him how he enjoyed his trip.

There were a few from the Boothbay region who came to their homecoming on Sunday and I am sure they will tell you that you knew the trip was a success because of the really big smile Barclay had when coming into the Homecoming Celebration! I don’t want to take away the experience for those who will be making the trip in the future, but I highly encourage those in the community who really want to express their appreciation for our veterans, especially our older veterans, to come to these Homecomings. It was great to see Commander Kelley Craft, the CO of the Carl M. Levin; DDG 122 being built at BIW with some of his crew at the Homecoming. Our Auxiliary was represented by Sue Burge.

The next trip will be Oct. 28-30 so mark Oct. 30 on your calendars to be at the Portland Jetport about noon to welcome our veterans home. I am hoping we Legionnaires will be able to come on the 30th in numbers, all wearing our Legion covers. Last Sunday there were many VFW covers and while we love our sister veteran organizations, it sure would be great to outnumber them showing our support for our fellow comrades returning from this most memorable trip. At this time, we have over 200 Vietnam veterans (I am one of them and a few others from our Post as well) on the waiting list. Of course, we still have a few World War II veterans and many Korean war veterans, but each trip has a number of Vietnam veterans going as well. It is important that all veterans know this trip is for them. Serving in a war does not provide a priority, it is “first come first serve” by era with a veterans health taken into consideration.

The Maine Veterans Coordinating Committee (MVCC) meetings again on Monday, Oct. 3. We will be “ZOOMing” this event from the Hall at 6 p.m. If you have any issues you would like to bring up the directors of the VA (Benefits and/or Healthcare) come to the Hall and ask them directly. An example of an issue I will be bringing up is that a 100% disabled veteran does not have to pay for vehicle registration. But, that veteran’s widow does. For some low income veterans, that can be a real hardship.

This Friday, Sept. 30, is our first ever monthly Game Night at the Hall from 5 to 7 p.m. Come for fun and be part of this inaugural event.