Honor Flight Maine “Operation Welcome Home”

Our first Honor Flight of the 2017 season returned to Maine April 2, arriving at the Portland Jetport to an enthusiastic and emotional crowd of family members, friends, veterans, active duty military, veteran organizations, school children and World War II veterans who went on previous Honor Flights.

I had the honor of meeting many heroes during this trip to Washington, D.C., and want to share three of them with you: Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient Don Burkill, 97 years young; Pearl Harbor survivor, U.S. Navy veteran and Gunners Mate Floyd Keniston, 95 years young; and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Col. Clifford West, 31 years of service and 97 years young.

They were all so grateful to have had the opportunity to see their national war memorials, built in honor of their service and sacrifice for our country.

To help support other Maine heroes getting this experience, you can donate online at honorflightmaine.org or mail a check to Honor Flight Maine, P.O. Box 1770, Portland, ME  04104-1770.

Maine raises $50k for veterans!

The second annual Veterans Count Radiothon was broadcast on Portland Radio Group’s WGAN Newsradio (AM 560 and FM 105.5) with the added frontline support of 101.9 WPOR, Maine’s No. 1 Country Station.

This event was proudly presented by Bill Dodge Auto Group and hourly sponsors included Chase Custom Homes and Finance, Oak Hill Cleaners, Patriot Insurance Co., State Manufactured Homes, and Windham Weaponry. The phone bank sponsor was US Cellular.

Donation incentives were offered throughout the day, thanks to generous supporters. Donation incentives included items or gift cards from Aroma Joes, Texas Roadhouse, Sea Dogs baseball tickets, Subway Restaurants, Bill Dodge Auto Group, Col. David Hunt’s new book, Celtics tickets and a Red Sox baseball signed by Mookie Bets. Everyone who donated during the radiothon was entered into a drawing to receive a signed guitar from veteran and singer Craig Morgan.

Veterans Count Maine is the fundraising chapter in support of Easterseals Maine's Military and Veterans Programs, which provides emergency financial assistance, information, counseling and referral to post-9/11 veterans and their families as they make the sometimes challenging transition from military service to civilian life. Services include help finding employment, housing, affordable vehicle and house maintenance services, and even food, rent, fuel, and heating oil in particularly dire situations. 

Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope for Women Veterans

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house will be held Tuesday, April 13, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at 8 Summer St., Augusta. This is an incredible milestone for Maine to have a women veterans’ house to support homeless women veterans and their children.

Also join us Tuesday, April 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. at The Red Barn restaurant in Augusta for a fundraiser to support the Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope. The Red Barn is located on 455 Riverside Drive.

Joy Asuncion is a retired 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, an Honor Flight Maine Board Member and a Maine Troop Greeter.  You can reach Joy at joyasuncion@roadrunner.com or 207-930-5640.