Tag Archive for: veterans

Vassalboro groups present veterans with Christmas stockings

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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.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Wars – Part 3

John Chandler

by Mary Grow

Veterans of Waterville and Augusta

After the Revolutionary War, the demobilization of the army increased the population of the Kennebec Valley. This article and the following will describe some of the Revolutionary veterans who became part of local history, chosen more or less randomly. A visit to old cemeteries in area towns would undoubtedly add more names.

In her history of the South Solon meeting house, Mildred Cummings explained that many demobilized soldiers from southern New England came to the District of Maine for its inexpensive land. Such a move would be especially appealing to younger sons who, until after the new United States government and laws took effect, could expect the family farm to be inherited by their oldest brother.

(Solon is farther up the Kennebec River, outside the area of this study, but friends have assured this writer its meeting house is worth a visit.)

The number of central Kennebec Valley settlers, veterans and others, who came from New Hampshire and Massachusetts substantiates Cummings’ explanation.

Kingsbury added, in his Kennebec County history, that survivors of Benedict Arnold’s 1775 march to Québec remembered the Kennebec Valley as a beautiful place with land and timber resources, and some brought their families to live there.

One such was Colonel Jabez Mathews (1743-1828), according to the Waterville centennial history. Mathews went up the Kennebec with Arnold’s expedition, returned to his home town of Gray and in 1794 brought his two young sons with him to Waterville, where he was a tavern-keeper.

The Waterville history includes a chapter on military history written by Brevet Brigadier General Isaac Sparrow Bangs. After much research, he and collaborators came up with a list of more than two dozen Revolutionary War veterans with a connection to Waterville, the majority men who settled there after the war.

Ernest Marriner wrote a brief piece (reproduced on line) in which he said only two men enlisted from the small Waterville/Winslow settlement, John Cool from the Waterville side of the Kennebec and Simeon Simpson from the Winslow side.

With his essay is a photo of the memorial tablet in the Waterville Public Library listing 24 Revolutionary veterans in Waterville, most, obviously, men who came after the war. His list and Bangs’ list are similar but not identical.

The first man Bangs mentioned (he is not on the memorial tablet) was Captain Dean Bangs (May 31, 1756 – Dec. 6, 1845), a Massachusetts native who was a mariner before the war, a privateer in 1775 and for two years beginning in 1776, a soldier in Abijah Bangs’ company in Colonel Dike’s regiment (probably Colonel Nicholas Dike, of the Massachusetts militia).

In 1802 Bangs bought “a large tract of land” in Sidney, part of it overlooking the Kennebec River, where he farmed and “reared a large family.” Waterville was his “mercantile home.”

Elkanah Bangs

As of the 1902 history’s publication, he and some of his family were buried in a private cemetery on his land. A memorial in the cemetery said that Dean Bangs’ father, Elkanah Bangs, was a privateer in the Revolution who was captured and died “on the Jersey prison ship at Wallabout Bay, New York, in July 1777, aged 44 years.”

(Since the memorial was erected by Dean Bangs’ grandson Isaac Sparrow, this writer concludes that the Isaac Sparrow Bangs who wrote the chapter is related to Elkanah and Dean Bangs.)

John Cool, for whom, according to Bangs and Marriner, Waterville’s Cool Street is named, enlisted in the Continental Army from Winslow on March 12, 1777, and was discharged March 12, 1780. In 1835, “on a paper” (perhaps concerning a pension?) he said he was 78 years old and had lived in by-then-Waterville for 70 years. He lived on Cool Street another 10 years, dying Oct. 5, 1845, six months after he turned 89.

Sampson Freeman, “a free man of color,” was another Continental Army veteran who served his three years, from Feb. 1, 1777, to Feb. 5, 1780, including service at Valley Forge dated June 1778 (the month the army moved out of that encampment). Freeman enlisted from Salem, Massachusetts; after the war he lived in Peru, Maine, before moving to Waterville in 1835, where he died in 1843.

Asa Redington

Asa Redington (Dec. 22, 1761 – March 31, 1845), according to records Bangs and colleagues found, enlisted from New Hampshire in June 1778 and was discharged in December; in June 1779 re-enlisted for a year; in March 1781 enlisted for the third time.

He served in New England the first two terms, and after March 1781 went with the army to Yorktown. After Cornwallis surrendered, Bangs wrote, Redington came back north with the army to West Point, where on Dec. 23, 1783, he was discharged “without pay, and left to travel 300 miles to his home, carrying the musket he had borne during his long service.”

Redington moved to Vassalboro in 1784, married into the Getchell family, and in 1792 moved to Waterville for the rest of his life. The musket, Bangs wrote, remained in the family for years, until Redington’s oldest son gave it to the State of Maine.

Marriner added that Redington, with his father-in-law, Nehemiah Getchell, built the first dam at Ticonic Falls. Redington became a mill owner, added “a shipyard and store, and accumulated more land.”

He was the Justice of the Peace who convened Waterville’s first town meeting, held on July 26, 1802. The Redington Museum is in the Silver Street house that he built in 1814 for one of his sons.

Another prominent Waterville veteran was Dr. Obadiah Williams (March 21, 1752 – June 1799). The second of Waterville’s early physicians, he enlisted from Epping, New Hampshire, and was at Bunker Hill as a surgeon in Major General John Stark’s regiment in the Continental Army. He served for the duration of the war and came to Winslow in 1792. Several sources say he built the first frame house on the west (later Waterville) side of the Kennebec.

Daniel Cony

Augusta also had Revolutionary veterans among its early settlers. One of the most prominent was Daniel Cony (Aug. 3, 1752 – Jan. 21, 1842). He has been mentioned in several previous articles, notably as the founder of Cony Female Academy, opened in 1816 and closed in 1857 (see The Town Line, Sept. 2, 2021, for a summary history of the Academy and a brief biography of Daniel Cony).

A Massachusetts native, Cony was a physician practicing in Shutesbury when the Revolutionary fighting began at Lexington and Concord. North wrote in his history of Augusta that Cony enrolled in the Massachusetts militia in the fall of 1776 and joined General Horatio Gates’ army at Saratoga, New York.

North tells the story of an early adventure: a leader was needed to cross an area exposed to fire from a British battery, and he volunteered. “[T]he young adjutant at the head of his men by his wary approach drew the enemy’s fire, felt the wind of their balls, then dashed forward with his command unharmed.”

Cony and his family came to Augusta (then Hallowell) in 1778. His many public positions after the war included town clerk and selectman in Hallowell; member in both houses of the Massachusetts General Court; member of the Massachusetts electoral college when George Washington was elected to his second term as president of the United States; delegate to Maine’s 1819 Constitutional Convention; member of the new Maine legislature and of the Maine executive council; and Kennebec County probate judge.

Consistent with his enthusiasm for education, after the Massachusetts legislature chartered Hallowell Academy in 1791 (during one of his terms as a legislator), he became a member of the first board of trustees; and he was an overseer of Bowdoin College, founded in 1794, for its first three years.

On Oct, 17, 1797, in honor of the anniversary of Burgoyne’s surrender, he began building a new house. That house burned June 13, 1834. The same year he built a new one, described on a Museum in the Streets plaque as “a double brick visible on the hill behind the fort,” where he died.

In 1815, renowned portrait painter Gilbert Stuart did portraits of Cony and his wife, Susanna Curtis Cony, according to an on-line Central Maine newspapers report dated May 1918. In 1917, the Cony Alumni Association obtained permission to replicate Cony’s portrait (the original belongs to the Minneapolis Institute of Art). The resulting canvas print, framed, was hung in the Cony High School library in August 2017, according to the report.

Seth Pitts, Jr. (1754 – Aug. 22, 1846), and his younger brother, Shubael Pitts (1766-1849), were born in Taunton, Massachusetts, and both served in the Revolution. Their parents moved to Hallowell before 1781.

Seth married Elizabeth Lewis from Canton, Massachusetts. Shubael married twice, each time to one of midwife Martha Ballard’s assistants. His first wife was Parthenia Barton (1772- Sept. 4, 1794), from Vassalboro; an on-line history says Martha Ballard was “in attendance” at her death. On July 28, 1796, Shubael Pitts married Sally Cox or Cocks (born 1770).

Shubael made his living as a blacksmith, with his shop on the east side of Water Street, in Augusta. Sally “operated a boarding home for debtors in the same area,” the on-line history says.

When Augusta’s first militia company was established in 1796, Shubael Pitts was one of four captains, according to Kingsbury. (Another was Thomas Pitts, who was born too late to fight in the Revolution but was active in the War of 1812.)

The on-line history says Shubael and Sally are buried in Augusta’s Kling Cemetery (also called the Reed-Cony Cemetery, on the east side of West River Road [Route 104]). Parthenia is buried in Mount Vernon Cemetery (identified as “the old section” of Mount Hope Cemetery).

One of the veterans who spent his last years in Augusta had an unusual service record. Ephraim Leighton (January 1763 – March 15, 1851) first visited the area with his father, Benjamin Leighton, “when there were but three houses in Augusta,” according to Kingsbury. Coming from Edgecomb, they went on to Mount Vernon “by blazed trees” and settled there, Kingsbury wrote.

By May 1776, according to an on-line source, Ephraim was back in Edgecomb, because it was from there that, at the age of 11 (according to the source; 13, by this writer’s math), he enlisted in Captain Henry Tibbetts’ company in a Massachusetts regiment “and served as a waiter to Capt. Tibbetts.” He was discharged in November 1776, but despite his brief and not very military service he was later awarded a pension.

Leighton married Esther Tibbetts on Nov, 23, 1789, in Rome. He was a farmer in Rome and Mount Vernon, moved as far north as Parkman and after about 1813 lived in Augusta. He is buried in the city’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

John Chandler (Feb. 1, 1762 – Sept. 24 or 25, 1841) was another Revolutionary War veteran who came to Augusta late in life. Born in Epping, New Hampshire, third son of a blacksmith who died in 1776, in 1777, at age 15, he joined the Continental Army. He was captured by the British, escaped, was captured again in May 1779 and escaped in September. Returning to Epping, he promptly re-enlisted.

At some point he served at Fort Detroit, in what is now Detroit, Michigan, under future Secretary of War (in Thomas Jefferson’s administration) Henry Dearborn. Dearborn thought enough of the illiterate youngster to lend him money to buy a farm in Monmouth in the District of Maine, where Chandler and his wife Mary settled in 1784.

Wikipedia says “a local schoolmaster” educated Chandler. He became a successful blacksmith and prominent enough in town to be elected to the Massachusetts Senate (1803-1805) and the United States House of Representatives (March 1805 to March 1809).

Declining renomination, he became Kennebec County Sheriff in 1808 and in 1812 a major general in the Massachusetts militia. His story will continue with the history of the War of 1812.

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Nash, Charles Elventon, The History of Augusta (1904).
North, James W., The History of Augusta (1870).
Whittemore, Rev. Edwin Carey, Centennial History of Waterville 1802-1902 (1902).

Websites, miscellaneous.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this article, artist Gilbert Stuart was misnamed Stuart Gilbert.

China resident looks to fill a need for women veterans

Below left, left to right: Sooz R., Holly L., Rachel P., U.S. Navy Quilt of Valor recipient, and Kristin S., during Quilt of Valor Ceremony on November 6, 2021. (contributed photo)

by Eric W. Austin

Nichole Jordan

“Women veterans in general are so overlooked and underappreciated,” says China resident and U.S. Army veteran Nichole Jordan. “Women are truly the invisible aspect of after-service to our country.”

While many excellent veterans organizations exist, like the American Legion and VFW, historically the focus of these organizations has been on male veterans and the support they need. With men making up about nine-in-ten of all U.S. military veterans, this makes sense, but Nichole Jordan saw a need for more supportive activities aimed at women veterans. To this end, she started Women Veteran’s Glamping in 2019.

“Glamping” is a portmanteau of the words “glamorous” and “camping” and aims to provide participants with modern amenities while enjoying the Great Outdoors.

At the first Women Veteran’s Glamping event Jordan heard from many of the attendees who said they only knew one other woman veteran in the state. “Being a woman veteran, that really hurt to hear,” she says.

The WVG logo designed by Got Vinyl?, in Vassalboro.

With some amazing sponsors and support, Women Veteran’s Glamping was born. Local graphic design experts from Got Vinyl? Ink & Printing, in Vassalboro, helped design their logo featuring a dragonfly, which represents dedication, beauty, honor, courage, love and selflessness. The goal of Women Veteran’s Glamping is to provide a safe and supportive environment for women veterans to relax and connect with other veterans while enjoying the best of Maine’s natural scenery.

At each event, a Quilt of Valor is presented to a deserving veteran to honor their service and sacrifice to the country. “The quilt equals healing,” says Jordan. “The warmth of the wrap and love that is put into it comforts one’s soul on a day when all seems lost or forgotten. Focus is on those most in need of comfort and healing first; those who need to know their sacrifice is acknowledged, those who need the affirmation of a hug, and those who never heard the words ‘Welcome home.’”

Left to right: Vicki B. US Navy, Nichole J. US Army, Jannene B. US Army & US NAVY, Sheryl M. US Navy, Dawn O. US Navy, during a Quilt of Valor Ceremony on October 30, 2021. (contributed photos)

Women Veteran’s Glamping has partnered with two local businesses, Maine Forest Yurts, in Durham, and House in the Woods, in Lee, Maine, to host their weekend retreats. During the first two years they served mostly women veterans in Maine, but in September of 2021, they became an official nonprofit and expanded their events to include women veterans in all 50 states.

Women Veteran’s Glamping has held three previous events with 16 women veterans attending each. This year, they are stepping up their game with seven events planned throughout the year. So far, 152 women have signed up. The trips start on Friday and run through Sunday. Five of the events are scheduled at Maine Forest Yurts, in Durham, with two additional weekends taking place at House in the Woods, in Lee, Maine. Jordan hopes to extend the weekend trips to week-long getaways in 2023.

Interior view of a Maine Forest Yurt, in Durham, ME. (contributed photo)

“Our five-year plan is finding 50 to 100 acres for our own retreat center that will be open year round,” Jordan says. “We will continue to keep Women Veteran’s Glamping in Maine and hope we can secure the land and buildings needed for this down the road. The U.S. has 300,000 women veterans, not including active duty women. There is a calling and a need for this. One step at a time. With God and Country behind us all things are possible.”

Currently, cost for participants is $250 and includes lodging, food, all activities and required supplies, but Jordan is busy fundraising, hoping to cover expenses for most participants in the future.

Outer view of a Maine Forest Yurt in Durham, ME. (contributed photo)

On Saturday, January 15, Women Veteran’s Glamping will hold a Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser, from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m., at St. Bridget Center, in Vassalboro. Then, on Friday, January 28, there is a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., at the Auburn VFW Post #1603, 588 Minot Ave. (To-go boxes will be available if pandemic restrictions require either of the events to be take-out only.) They have an on-going quilt raffle as well, with the winner announced live on their Facebook page on February 19 at noon. T-shirts, printed by Got Vinyl? Ink & Printing, in Vassalboro, will be available for a suggested donation of $20 each. They have also connected with local redemption centers throughout Maine and set up accounts to collect funds, so check with the business where you drop off bottles and cans if you’d like to donate them to the cause.

“This year alone we need over $65,000 in fundraising,” she says. “It grows as time goes on. We still have to purchase 25 sleeping bags; a large, flat top grill with 30-pound propane tanks; and we are fundraising for a 7×16-foot trailer to haul all our event gear in.”

Jordan says fundraising has been difficult because many companies are already giving to veteran organizations with a male focus. “Men get $8,000 hunting trips given to them, yet women veterans do bottle-and-can redemption collections, meal fundraising and quilt raffles to cover the lodging, food and activities for women veterans,” she says. “We have sent out 350 donation request letters to the top companies in Maine, New Hampshire and across the country. We get back lots of rejection letters. Some say they don’t want to donate because we are so new, some say they can’t donate because they already support other, predominately male veteran programs in the state of Maine. We offer an opportunity for recreation and the camaraderie of shared experiences in a safe environment. We will continue to hope that companies and others will want to help honor Women Veteran’s Glamping.”

2020 was a difficult year for everyone with the pandemic going on, but it was a particularly painful one for Nichole Jordan. That year, just before Mothers Day, she received the news that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Within three weeks, she had part of her right lung removed. While recovering, she moved back with her folks who had recently bought a house in China. “I am here for when they need me as they age and as I heal from my lung cancer,” she says. “If God lets me live to see 50 years old this year, I promised I would be giving back for my next 50 years to Women Veteran’s Glamping.”

Previously, Jordan lived with her family in Vassalboro from 2010-2012. Her son graduated from Erskine Academy, in South China, before attending the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and then enlisting for active duty in the U.S. Air Force. Her daughter graduated from China Middle School before moving to Texas for high school. Nichole Jordan currently lives in China with her parents and her loyal black lab, Willow Grace.

To find out more about Women Veteran’s Glamping or sign up for a weekend retreat, please visit their website at www.WomenVeteransGlamping.org. To contact Nichole Jordan or to find out more about donating to the cause of women veterans, call 456-6114 or email WomenVeteransGlamping@gmail.com.