Gold Medal ceremony to honor Sen. Bob Dole

Jan 01, 2018

On Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 3 p.m. in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, House and Senate leaders will present a Congressional Gold Medal to former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole in recognition of his service to our country as a soldier, legislator and statesman.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award that the United States can be bestow in accordance with public law No:115-60.

In 1942 Sen. Dole enlisted in the Army during World War II, where he served as a platoon leader in the legendary Tenth Mountain Division in Italy. In 1945 he was gravely wounded on the battlefield and was decorated for heroic achievement, receiving two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster.

Dole represented his home state of Kansas in Congress from 1961 to 1996 — eight years in the House of Representatives, followed by 27 years in the Senate.

A strong advocate for the disabled, Sen. Dole achieved Social Security reforms and advanced the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has continued to selflessly serve the American public — especially our nation’s veterans.

The longest-serving Republican leader in the nation’s history, Dole served as chairman of a national campaign to raise private contributions that largely funded construction of the World War II Memorial. The memorial honors the 16 million men and women who served in the armed forces during WWII, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort from home. The memorial was first opened to the public on April 29, 2004.

I had the honor of meeting Sen. Dole on two Honor Flight Maine Trips to Washington, D.C., at the World War II Memorial. In 2011 a special plaque was placed at the entrance to the memorial in his honor.

Sen. Dole spends many of his weekends greeting Honor Flights at the memorial; he loves to talk with them about where they served and thank them for their military service. It truly is a beautiful thing to see this American hero meeting with all our American heroes from Maine!

Honor Flight Maine telethon

Thank you to everyone who supported and donated to our mission during the telethon Nov. 16.  A big thank you to News Center Bangor and Portland stations for your partnership, which raised $141,133 to support our 2018 mission.

Please help Honor Flight Maine find our WWII veterans for a free flight to Washington, D.C., to see their national memorials built in their honor.

We are also accepting applications from all veterans regardless of the war era they served in. To submit an application online, request a printed application and/or ask a question, please visit or feel free to contact me via phone or email.

Ocean State Job Lot donates 200 winter coats for veterans

The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services announced Dec. 28 that, thanks to the generosity of Ocean State Job Lot, the bureau recently received 200 coats. They are available for veterans – or for a veteran’s family member in need.

Please reach out if you know a veteran who could use a new coat, especially in these dangerous temperatures we are having. Please contact Aaron Dombroski, Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services at 822-2391 or email

Joy Asuncion is an Honor Flight Maine Board member, a Maine Troop Greeter and Maine State Ambassador for the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. You can reach her at or 930-5640.


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