The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services has selected the design for the new State of Maine Honorable Service Coin and Plaque, which will honor all Maine veterans, past and present, regardless of their branch or era of service.

The winning design was submitted by Georgette L. Kanach of Gray, whose design was chosen by popular vote of more than 1,200 Maine veterans.

U.S. military members have a longstanding tradition of carrying special “challenge coins” to symbolize branch and unit identity and foster esprit de corps.

In 2002, the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services commissioned the first of four bronze plaques that now hang in the Hall of Flags at the Maine State House, each representing veterans who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as women veterans. Likenesses of each of the four plaques were made into coins that are regularly presented to Maine veterans based on their era of service.

As many other Maine veterans have served during peacetime and in conflicts other than WWII, Korea and Vietnam, the Honorable Service Coin was commissioned to honor those veterans who would otherwise not be eligible to receive one of the four previously existing coins. A matching plaque will also be hung in the Hall of Flags at the State House in Augusta.

“The creativity, artistic talent, patriotism and compassion for our veterans were evident in all of the submitted designs, but ultimately, only one could be chosen,” said David Richmond, acting director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services. “On behalf of the Artist Selection Committee and the state of Maine, I extend my congratulations to Ms. Georgette Kanach and thank all of the artists for lending their time and talent to honoring our veterans.”

A formal unveiling ceremony for the Honorable Service Coin and Plaque will be announced.

About the artist

Georgette Kanach is a proud artist, Mainer and mother of two veteran daughters, grandmother to two veteran grandchildren, sister to four veteran brothers, and aunt to many nieces and nephews who have served and are serving in the military.

Kanach says her greatest honor would be to one day present each of her daughters an Honorable Service Coin.

Veterans Guide School

On April 26-28, 2019 a Registered Maine Guide Course for Maine Veterans will be held at the House in the Woods Lodge in Lee. This course is free to Maine veterans, active duty, and reserve. All lodging, meals and accommodations will be provided by the House in the Woods.

The purpose of this course is to assist Maine veterans in focusing on the specifics needed to pass the state exam. It is expected that you have experience in the Maine woods and on the water. The hope is that once you become a registered Maine guide, you “pay it forward” by volunteering at House in the Woods or other organizations.

Visit to complete the application and mail, along with a copy of your DD-214, or a letter from your current command to Jim Neville Outdoors, 96 Perk O’Rock Landing Road, Orono, ME 04473. You can also scan and email the documents to

The application deadline is April 1, 2019. This will be a highly competitive selection process and only 20 veterans will be selected. Please provide as much information as possible in your application.

If you have any questions please email

National Veterans Golden Age Games

The Togus Maine-iacs will participate in the National Veterans Golden Age Games in Anchorage, Alaska, June 5-10.

These games encourage veterans 55 and older to make physical activity a central part of their lives, and support the VA’s comprehensive recreation therapy programs overall mission.  The National Veterans Golden Age Games are the premier senior adaptive rehabilitation program in the United States, and are designed to improve the quality of life for older veterans.

To participate in these annual games, you must be 55 years of age or older by Dec. 31, 2019, and currently receive impatient or outpatient care from the VA.

To get started, first talk with your primary care physician and get an outpatient recreation therapy consult.  Recreation Therapy staff will contact you to schedule your assessment.  You can also contact the Recreation Therapy team at Togus VA (Elizabeth Marrone, 623-8411, ext. 5371, or Courtney Oliver, 623-8411, ext. 4589) for information.

Registration will be available online from Feb. 25 to March 8 at midnight EST.  Online registration will close, however, when the maximum allowable number of participates has been met.

To learn more about the National Games and what sports will be offered, visit

Joy Asuncion is a retired U.S. Navy veteran, Maine Ambassador for the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, an Honor Flight Maine board member and a Maine Troop Greeter. You can contact Joy at 930-5640 or