Veteran news

Remembering President George H. W. Bush, 1924-2018

Dec 05, 2018
Courtesy of: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum Lt. George H. W. Bush during World War II.

George Herbert Walker Bush served as our 41st president from 1989 to 1993. He also served in the U.S. Navy.

On his 18th birthday, June 12, 1942, Bush enlisted, becoming the youngest pilot in the Navy during World War II. He served as a combat pilot, flying carrier-based torpedo bomber aircraft on a total of 58 combat missions.

He had a brush with death when his plane was hit during a bombing run in the Pacific. After managing to escape the burning aircraft, he was quickly rescued by a U.S. Navy submarine.

Bush was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his WWII service. I was honored to serve on active duty in the U.S. Navy when he was president.

Rest in peace, President Bush, Thank you for your military service and your life of service to our country. Fair winds and following seas. 

77th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

Dec. 7, 1941, “A day that will live in infamy.” At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, Japanese warplanes descended on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack and drew the United States into World War II.

The following day, Dec. 8, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an address to a joint session of Congress, declared war on Japan, abandoning the nation’s isolationism policy and ushering the United States into World War II.

Within days, Japan’s allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on the United States, and the country began a rapid transition to a wartime economy by building up armaments in support of military campaigns in the Pacific, North Africa and Europe.

We will never forget the service and sacrifice of the 2,335 American service members killed and 1,143 were wounded on December 7, 1941. Eighteen ships were sunk or run aground, including five battleships.

Wreaths Across America advances mission to Normandy

Wreaths Across America was granted permission by the French authorities to place 9,387 Maine-made, balsam veterans' wreaths on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, on the headstones of all U.S. service members laid to rest at Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France.

The cemetery is one of 14 permanent American World War II military cemeteries on foreign soil. The government of France granted use of the land in perpetuity. United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower and French President René Coty dedicated the cemetery on July 18, 1956.

Wreaths Across America’s mission is to “Remember the fallen, honor those who served, and teach the next generation the value of freedom.”

To learn more about its mission and how you can support this amazing Maine organization, please visit their website at wreathsacrossamerica.org.

2018 Convoy to Arlington National Cemetery

You can view the full schedule of convoy stops from Saturday, Dec. 8, to Saturday, Dec. 15, which is designated National Wreaths Across America Day, on the organization’s website at wreathsacrossamerica.org. This is the day thousands of volunteers across the country participate in laying wreaths at over 1,500 cemeteries, including Arlington National Cemetery and several locations in Maine.

The convoy will have two major local stops on Sunday, Dec. 9: Mount View High School at 11:30 a.m., and Augusta Civic Center, 2 to 4 p.m., to include a “Veterans Rally” and a performance by the U.S. Army Field Band the Six-String Soldiers. This is a free concert, open to the public.

Travis Mills Foundation Holiday Open House

The public is welcome to tour the Travis Mills Veterans Retreat, meet Staff Sgt. Travis Mills and learn more about opportunities at the retreat on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1002 Watson Pond Road, Rome, Maine. To ensure they have enough tour guides for this free open house, please register at https://www.classy.org/event/holiday-open-house/e210649.

Joy Asuncion is a retired U.S. Navy veteran, member of the Honor Flight Maine board of directors, a Maine Troop Greeter and the Maine State Ambassador for the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Washington, D.C. You can reach Joy at 930-5640 or joyasuncion@roadrunner.com.

 

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