American Legion Post 36

Mon, 09/18/2023 - 10:30am

This Friday, 25 more veterans are departing the Jetport at 10:30 a.m. on their way to visit their memorials in Washington, D.C. as part of Honor Flight Maine. They will be returning on Sunday, Sept. 24 on SWA 2868 at noon. When they arrive, they are greeted by hundreds of family, friends, veterans’ groups, first responders, scouts and many others from around the state! The Volunteer Jazz band provides entertainment while we wait for them to arrive and then are part of the ceremony before they all depart to go home.

On this flight there are three who served during the World War II era, five Korean War era, 11 Vietnam era, and two who served during both WWII and two who served during both Korean War and Vietnam eras.

What the HFM team wants all veterans to know is that the mission of HFM is take all veterans regardless of when, where, or how long they served. If they received a DD 214 when they were discharged, they are eligible. I shouldn’t say “they” as I assume most readers of this article are veterans.

So, have you signed up for Honor Flight? HF selects who goes on the flight based on age, health and date of application. So, a veteran in his/her 30’s who puts in an application and is healthy, might not go on a flight until 2026. But, 2026 comes before you know it! For those who have your application in and are interested where you are in “queue,” you can contact me and I’ll be able to tell you.

Having said that, are board member and registered nurse, retired LCOL Crystal Guerrette, selects those on each flight based on the criteria provided. Her medical background determines if the veteran’s health condition should put him/her ahead of others. For example, as a hospice volunteer at Togus, I have been playing cribbage on Fridays with a veteran in his 70s who I helped put in his application this year. He will be on this trip. Being a hospice resident puts him ahead of all others.

Mentioning that, I hope as many of you who are reading this will come to this “Welcome Home” if for no other reason than to provide the Welcome Home for this veteran, likely his last. Legion breakfast is this Sunday and you can leave from there to the Jetport to be part of the ceremony.

Oct. 28 is our Post Recognition dinner. Social from 5:30 and dinner at 6. This is always a great event, one for the whole family to enjoy. This dinner is hosted by the Post and our Auxiliary and it is a chance to see folks you might not have seen for a while, to be part of recognizing folks in our community who have contributed not only to veterans but the community at large. Everyone is invited so bring friends and family. But, please contact me or call 633-4487 and let us know if you think you might attend. No obligations at this point.