Tag Archive for: veterans

Palermo veteran proudly marches in Washington DC parade

On Memorial Day, hundreds of veterans who served during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 were in our nation’s Capital to honor those who have died during their military service. Mark A. Audet, of Palermo, marched in one of the largest groups of veterans in the National Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 27, 2024, on Constitution Avenue, in Washington, DC.

Less than one mile from the parade route is the land where the Desert Shield and Desert Storm Memorial will be constructed. Projected completion and dedication of the memorial is fall 2025.

Mark A. Audet, a U.S. Navy veteran, served as a Corpsman with Fleet Hospital 15, the northernmost deployed hospital, near Al Jubayl, Saudi Arabia, during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

In 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Within 24 hours, Iraq’s military occupied its southern neighbor with the intent of further advancing into Saudi Arabia. President George H.W. Bush would successfully lead a coalition of dozens of nations in the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, a campaign known as Operation Desert Storm.

More information on the Desert Shield and Desert Storm Memorial can be located at www.ndswm.org.

Bill to protect veterans unanimously clears key legislative committee

Veterans in Maine may soon have more financial security after a bill providing protection from fraudulent and predatory claims practices cleared a key legislative committee last week. The bill, LD 2259, was sponsored by Sen. Brad Farrin, R-Somerset, and provides increased protection for veterans who are applying for U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) benefits.

The predatory practices, which according to the VA are conducted by people or organizations whom they call “Claim Sharks,” include aggressive and misleading tactics aimed at veterans, their families, survivors and caregivers. These practices often result in hefty fees to “assist” or “consult” veterans and survivors with the filing of their VA benefits claims.

During an awareness campaign launched last year, the VA said unaccredited claim sharks have no formal training in the VA system and operate outside the law. The Federal Trade Commission estimated that such scammers cost veterans and their families about $292 million in losses in 2022.

Since the passage of the PACT Act in 2022, which was the largest benefit and health care expansion in the VA’s history and now covers veterans who were exposed to burn pits and toxic substances, activity by claim sharks and other scammers has only risen. The sudden spike led to the introduction of competing U.S. House and Senate bills that will reinstate fines and jail time, which were suspended during the pandemic to aid the VA to catch up on benefits claims. Both bills have very strong support.

Typical tactics used by such predators often include offering a consultation from their own network of doctors while promising an expedited examination and guaranteeing an increased disability rating or percentage increase to their benefits. Claim sharks then apply hefty fees for their assistance or demand a high percentage of the veteran’s earned benefits.

The VA says veterans are never required to pay for benefits they earned. They launched a website to help veterans prevent fraud and how to report it and seek help if it occurs. They also have an online tool to aid veterans who are searching for accredited Veterans Services Organizations (VSOs) to help with various services.

“My bill will provide an extra wall of security for our veterans, further protecting them from predatory and deceptive practices that target their hard-earned monetary benefits. Veterans should never have to use their benefits to pay for these predatory practices; and I thank the Veterans of Foreign Wars for bringing this to my attention,” said Farrin. “Veterans did their duty for our country and deserve the greatest protections possible. It is our duty as a country and as a state to provide them with that security and provide as much information about VSOs as possible.”

The bill now moves to the Senate and House chambers for final passage.

Vassalboro groups present veterans with Christmas stockings

contributed photo

At St Bridget Center on December 11, 2023, with Christmas music in the background, a dozen volunteers from American Legion Post #126, Cub Scout Troop #410, Sew for a Cause, and the Vassalboro United Methodist Church filled 200 Christmas stockings with personal care products and goodie bags for veterans at Togus. The stockings were made and donated by Sew for a Cause. American Legion Post #126 delivered the stockings to the Veterans Administration Service Office, at Togus, on December 12, 2023. American Legion Post #126 Vassalboro thanks Connected Credit Union, of Winslow, Maine Savings Credit Union, of Vassalboro, Cub & Boy Scout Troops #410, Vassalboro United Methodists Church, American Legion Post #5, Pike Industries, Knights of Columbus #13486 and area individuals who supported and donated to this project to honor and thank our veterans.

contributed photo

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So. China American Legion plans expansion of Veterans monument

South China Post commander Neil Farrington at the Veterans Monument.

by Eric W. Austin

The Boynton-Webber American Legion Post #179 has recently announced plans to expand the veterans memorial at the four corners in South China Village. The plan entails adding a brick pathway leading up to the monument, with the names of veterans engraved on each brick.

The GAR Hall which used to be at the location of the South China veterans monument.

“My idea for the brick walkway at the South China memorial is to honor our local veterans,” says Post #179 Commander Neil Farrington. “It really doesn’t matter if you served during a time of war or in peacetime. This project is meant to honor all area veterans.”

The site of the South China memorial has historical significance to the town of China. Originally, it was the location of a GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Hall dedicated to a local hero of the Civil War, Captain James Parnell Jones, who was known as the “Fighting Quaker” for his bravery in that conflict. Later, in 1949, the spot became the site of the first American Legion Hall, in South China, before the current building on Legion Memorial Drive was erected in 1968.

A sample of the engraved bricks.

There is already a memorial at the town office for veterans who served in World War II, but Commander Farrington hopes this project will be an opportunity to honor those who served in other conflicts, including the Civil War, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War and the war in Afghanistan, as well as veterans who served during peacetime between 1953-1963, a period of service that often goes unrecognized.

The new pathway will be built using 180 bricks purchased by the public and engraved with the names and service dates of local veterans. The cost for a brick is $100, with twenty-percent covering the cost of the engraving and the rest going toward the cost of a new heating and cooling system for the Legion Hall. (The American Legion is a registered nonprofit and donations for the project are tax-deductible.)

Anyone in the area towns around South China is invited to purchase a brick to remember a friend or relative who served in active duty or the National Guard. There will be room for up to three lines of 20 characters per line on each brick.

Bricks can be ordered by mailing a check payable to American Legion Post #179, PO Box 401, South China, ME 04358. Interested parties can request an order form by email at peachclassof68@gmail.com (or download it here), or by phone at 462-4321.

Orders should be submitted as soon as possible, with construction expected to commence in the spring.

The lights here at the monument show the location of the planned brick expansion.

Glidden family honors WWII soldier from Palermo

The Glidden family, group on left, Buffy, Sam, Nelson, Gayle and Sue. Group on right, Amy, Laraine, Paul, Pat, Clair and Delores. (contributed photo)

Submitted by Patricia Glidden Clark

Saturday, September 30, 2023, family members of World War II soldier from Palermo, Malcolm Leroy Glidden, honored his memory with a gathering at the Malcolm Glidden American Legion Post #163, in Palermo. The presentation was put together by Post Commander Paul Hunter with documentation that he researched and obtained from the National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri, and information from other sources like Newspapers.com, Ancestry.com, Sons of Liberty Museum and American Legion records. It was supplemented by historic records, clippings and photos that Mr. Glidden’s parents, George and Esther Glidden, had saved from the 1940s. Two of their granddaughters, Patricia (Pat) Glidden Clark and sister Laraine Glidden (daughters of Malcolm’s brother Lawrence) provided a great deal of information to the Legion.

Malcolm left Palermo on March 20, 1944, at just 18 years old, to serve his country in the U.S. Army. He served in the European Theater of Operations, Signal Corp, 94th Division of General George Patton’s 3rd Army. Unfortunately, he never made it home, becoming the only soldier from Palermo to be killed in World War ll. Malcolm died in battle in Germany on March 23, 1945, near Luxembourg. He would not be returned home until April 9, 1949, and was buried on April 10, 1949, at Chadwick Hill Cemetery, in South China.

Family members in attendance were: Patricia Glidden Clark and Laraine Glidden (children of brother Lawrence Glidden); Delores Kennedy Douglas (daughter of sister Eloise Glidden Kennedy), Buffy Glidden Whitaker (daughter of Malcolm’s namesake nephew Malcolm) and son Sam, and Nelson and Gayle Glidden (children of Malcolm’s brother George). Additional family present included Amy Glidden, widow of Bruce Glidden who was brother to Buffy; Clair Clark, Pat’s spouse, and Nelson’s wife Sue. We were also joined by Paul’s wife Bonnie and daughter Chelsea.

Paul and Bonnie put together a booklet for the family with many of the significant details of Malcolm’s life and service to his country. The family is looking forward to receiving copies of the booklet for each member. At the close of the visit, Pat and Laraine presented the American flag to the Legion that had been given to them following the death of their father Lawrence in 1982.

Val Bard is Legionnaire of the Year

Bourque-Lanigan American Legion Post #5, in Waterville, selected Val Bard as Legionnaire of the Year for 2022 in recognition of outstanding leadership and service.

Commander Craig Bailey, left, presents Legionnaire Award to Val Bard on June 12, 2023. (contributed photo)

Waterville American Legion installs new officers

On June 12, 2023, American Legion Post #5, in Waterville held its installation of officers. The past National Commander Tony Jordan installed the elected and appointed officers for 2023-2024. His installing chaplain was Bob Jordan.

Newly-installed officers at Bourque-Lanigan American Legion Post #5, in Waterville, from left to right, Commander Craig Bailey, First Vice Commander Mike Coyne, Second Vice Commander Val Bard, Finance Officer Butch Berard, Chaplain Pearley Lachance, Judge Advocate Donald Marden, and Adjutant Ernie Paradis. Absent from photo, Service Officer James Weare and Sergeant-at-Arms Mike Hanley. (contributed photo)

Waterville American Legion Post #5 installs new officers

American Legion Post #5 recently installed officers: from left to right, Dave Butler, Executive Committee, Charlie Shoudy, First Vice Commander, Val Bard, Second Vice Commander, Craig Bailey, Commander, Ernie Paradis, Adjutant, Butch Berard, Finance Officer, Pearley Lachance, Chaplain, Mike Hanley, Sgt.-at- Arms. Officers not in photo, Don Marden, Judge Advocate, and James Ware, Service Officer. (contributed photo)

American Legion Post #5, in Waterville, installed its officers for the coming year on June 8, 2022. Post #5 is still active fulfilling its mission of honoring men and women who served their country by wearing their uniform proudly. Many of the requirements for American Legion membership have been modified and all veterans are welcome.

For more information call 207 859-3055. Post #5 meetings are held the first and third Saturday, at 9 a.m., at the new location, at 120 Drummond Avenue, Waterville.

National Poppy Day is May 27

Members of American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Unit #39, Madison will be distributing bright red poppies in exchange for a donation throughout the month of May. The Flanders Fields poppy has become an internationally known and recognized symbol of the lives sacrificed in war and the hope that none died in vain. The American Legion Family called upon Congress to proclaim the Friday before Memorial Day as National Poppy Day, which was officially designated as such in 2017.

Honor our fallen warriors and contribute to the continuing needs of our veterans on National Poppy Day, May 27, 2022.

“Wearing the poppy on National Poppy Day and throughout Memorial Day weekend is one small way to honor and remember our fallen warriors who willingly served our nation and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” said American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Unit #39 President Karen Lytle “We must never forget.”

The poppy also honors hospitalized and disabled veterans who handcraft many of the red, crepe paper flowers. Making the poppies provides a financial and therapeutic benefit to the veterans, as well as a benefit to thousands of other veterans.

When The American Legion Family adopted the poppy as its memorial flower in the early 1920s, the blood-red icon became an enduring symbol of honor for the sacrifices of our veterans from the battlefields of France in World War I to today’s global war on terror. The American Legion Auxiliary raises about $4 million each year distributing poppies throughout the nation, with 100 percent of the funds raised going directly to help veterans, military, and their families.

The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) is a community of volunteers serving veterans, military, and their families. Our members also support the mission of The American Legion in improving the quality of life for our nation’s veterans.

The more than 600,000 ALA members across the country volunteer millions of hours annually and raise millions of dollars in service to veterans, military, and their families. Founded in 1919, the ALA is one of the oldest patriotic membership organizations in the U.S.A. To learn more and to volunteer, join, and donate, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org or if you like to join a local unit, contact Karen Lytle, President, American Legion Auxiliary, Tardiff-Belanger Unit #39, PO Box 325, Madison, ME 04950, or karen.lytle364@gmail.com or (207)696-4445.

Madison American Legion Post & Auxiliary holds Military Child’s Table Setting ceremony

From left to right, Amy Washburn, Tardiff-Belanger American Legion Auxiliary Unit #39 Chaplain, and Rich Robinson, Post #39 Chaplain. (contributed photo)

Tardiff-Belanger American Legion Post #39 and Auxiliary Unit #39, in Madison, held a Military Child’s Table Setting Ceremony following the Installation of Officers. The ceremony was performed jointly by Post #39 Chaplin, Rich Robinson, and Unit #39 Chaplin, Amy Washburn.

April is designated as Month of the Military Child – a time to honor the sacrifices made by military families worldwide, with an emphasis on the experience of the dependent children of military members serving at home and overseas.

The ceremony includes: The potted flowering plant symbolizing that a military child by flower and flourish where they are planted; the hand spade recognized that they may be transplanted to a new place in the world at a moment’s notice; the birthday hat and unlit candles, along with the baseball and glove, and ballet slippers represent special occasion that are missed; the family photo depicting a child with his/her uniformed parent/parents demonstrates our country’s strength; the final touch to the table setting is the American flag to remind us that families are united in their commitment to national service, at home or away.