Veterans Day 2018 A Day of Honor, a Day of Thanks

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VETERANS DAY • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • November 10, 2018

Any opportunity is a good time to commemorate the bravery and selfless deeds of military personnel, but certain prominent holidays in November make this an especially important time to thank veterans for their service. November 11 is Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada. It’s also known as Armistice Day in other parts of the world. These holidays honor all military veterans who have provided service to their countries, and that each falls on November 11 is no coincidence—the day commemorates the anniversary of the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Many places around the world pause and remember fallen veterans on November 11, but a good majority of Veterans Day and Remembrance Day commemorative events focus on past and

current veterans who are still alive. There are many ways to honor the military at home and abroad in time for the November festivities. The following are just a handful of ways to show appreciation for military men and women. ä When dining out, ask your server if you can pay the tab for a soldier or veteran you see in the restaurant. ä Attend a military parade with your family and explain the significance of the day to children in attendance. ä Draft letters and send care packages to soldiers currently in service far away from home. ä Ask your company if Veterans Day or Remembrance Day can be an observed holiday at your place of business each year to pay homage to servicemen and women. ä Visit a military memorial in a city near you. Your town also may have its own memorial. ä Petition town officials to erect a memorial if your town does not already have one. Such memorials can be a source of inspiration for your community. ä Support a military family in your town who may be missing a loved one stationed elsewhere. Make meals, mow the lawn, help with grocery shopping, or simply provide emotional support. ä Volunteer time at a veterans’ hospital. You may be able to read with veterans or engage in other activities.

Remembering our veterans ä Get involved with a military support charity that can provide much-needed funds to struggling families or disabled veterans. ä Have children speak with veterans in your family, including grandparents, uncles and aunts or even their own parents. It can help them gain perspective on the important roles the military plays. ä Ask a veteran to give a commencement speech at a school or to be the guest of honor at a special function. ä Drive disabled veterans to doctors’ appointments or to run any errands. ä Support a local VFW organization. ä Create a scrapbook for a veteran in your life. ä Cheer for or thank military personnel each time you see them. ä Visit the veterans’ portion of a nearby cemetery and place poppies or other flowers on the graves. ä Always keep the military on your mind and never forget those who have served and didn’t return home. Armistice Day, Remembrance Day and Veterans Day are great ways to honor past and current military for their service and sacrifice.

VETERANS DAY • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • November 10, 2018


On Aroostook County farm, veterans regain hope BY JOSHUA ARCHER

There’s a farm in our country’s most northeastern city where homeless veterans can find hope again. U.S. Marine veteran Corey Sheldon found his way to Caribou, Maine, after living on the streets of Washington, D.C. He’s spent the harvest season on the Dahlgren-Skidgel Farm of Hope getting a “much needed battery recharge,” he said. In the military, Sheldon was an airfield service technician. On the farm, he’s a carpenter. “Up here it’s given me a chance to see that there is a lot more value in the things I do, that I may not have realized,” he said. “Having a group here that actually understands what most of us have already been through, whether that be being deployed or making some crappy decisions in our past.” Sheldon bunks in one of the several cabins on the farm. He checks in at dawn with the crew for the day’s rundown on what needs to be done. “People here are willing to look at your background to see what you know and find where you’d be great. They’re willing to mentor you,” he said. Farm hands work six days a week, and there’s no shortage of work to be done, he said. “There’s always something to do and it’s very welcom-

ing,” he said. “If you’re having a day where your back is hurting, there’s always lighter work that can be done on the property.” Sheldon found his way to the farm after he met a United Veterans of Maine (UVM) staff member in D.C. UVM, founded in 2015, is a Caribou-based nonprofit and operates the 12.5-acre Dahlgren-Skidgel Farm of Hope in Aroostook County. Beyond the necessary paperwork to seek residence, “the rest of it was quite easy,” he said. “As long as you’re willing to make progress, people around here are willing to help out, and I’m extremely grateful for that,” Sheldon said. Sheldon earns a small wage, has access to counseling and job training, and has the opportunity to gain agricultural skills and knowledge on how to operate a business. UVM president John Deveau, who served twice in Iraq, said a veteran who contacts the organization must pass a background check, medical and psychological exams, and agree to the farm’s code of conduct before he is accepted into the program. Since breaking ground last year, the farm has helped over 30 veterans who’ve stayed on campus for more than a

U.S. Marine veteran Corey Sheldon found his way to the Dahlgren-Skidgel Farm of Hope after being homeless on the streets of Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy John Deveau

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VETERANS DAY • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • November 10, 2018

continued from Page 3 day, totaling over 400 bed hours. UVM also offers services and performs off-site projects for veterans and their spouses and children. “Just like the VA and every organization, we help their spouses. We do what we say we’re going to do,” Deveau said. In the past year, members of the organization have helped over 200 veterans and their family members with home repair projects. The farm is able to house six veterans in need as well as one family unit. “Instead of them being kept in jail, we try to work with that person at our facility and it’s been very successful,” Deveau said. “Not to downplay the farm, but it’s been a mental vacation to get clarity with certain things, get the ball rolling with certain things I’ve wanted to do and get involved with groups which I thought I couldn’t get involved with before,” Sheldon said. “That’s empowering when it comes to trying to get yourself back on your feet.”

< A group of veterans associated with Team Rubicon, an international veteran service organization, works on a UVM home project. Photo courtesy John Deveau

^ The Dahlgren-Skidgel Farm of Hope in Caribou, Maine, is a 12.5-acre farm operated by United Veterans of Maine. Photo courtesy John Deveau

VETERANS DAY • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • November 10, 2018



At the University of Maine at Augusta, veterans and active duty military personnel will find a wide range of courses, degrees, and services available. Since the University’s founding in 1965, UMA has continued a rich tradition of supporting military-experienced students. Laurie Krzywda, UMA’s Veterans Affairs School Certifying Official (SCO), says, “We now have over 300 students that are using federal military and veteran benefits.” The Veterans Academic Center (VAC) on the Augusta Campus is a notably visible element of UMA’s allegiance to veterans. The VAC provides dedicated space for UMA’s veteran student population, and serves as a place to study, write and print papers, take online exams, or just hang out with friends. Amy Line is the Director of Military & Veteran Services at UMA, a UMA alum, adjunct faculty member, and a Navy veteran. “This space was designed in a very thoughtful manner with an eye to improv-

ing accessibility for veterans,” Line explained. Color schemes and LED lighting provide a more conducive environment for those with the invisible wounds of war, such as traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder. Line was instrumental in securing the private grant funding which allowed for the creation of the VAC and the ability to hire four veteran peer mentors. The VAC was active on October 4, 2018, with the installation of five red cedar seals, each representing a branch of the military. Students had the opportunity to check in with others, share home-baked snacks, and do some studying. Zaid Dajani, a business major and Jordan Army veteran, said it best: “This is just a great place to study. It’s our own space.” Elaina George, a veteran peer mentor and Army veteran, enjoys the camaraderie of the group. “Having a role here, and being able to come and help out, really gives me a greater purpose to be on this campus. It’s a real close

UMA student veterans with Amy Line (6th from left), Director of Military & Veteran Services, at the Veterans Academic Center. Photo courtesy UMaine Augusta community. Working here in the Vet Center exemplifies what we’re used to as service members. We are accustomed to serving others because we ourselves have served.” Most importantly, the VAC provides a safe environment and friendly place for fellow veterans to seek and lend support to each other and to interact with the UMA staff.

“It’s the people who make this place special,” says Samantha Brown, a Navy veteran, pre-med biology student, and aspiring doctor of osteopathy. “I can come here and talk with others who’ve served and work on our courses. We also take hikes together on the trails around campus. It’s just a great community.”


VETERANS DAY • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • November 10, 2018

VETERANS DAY • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • November 10, 2018



VETERANS DAY • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • November 10, 2018

In Maine, homeless vets find solace in state projects Army Veteran Tim Buckmore doesn’t know where he would be without the Cabin in the Woods project. “I hate the thought of that. I hate to see anybody in that situation,” said Buckmore, a veteran of the U.S. Army who served six years in Germany and Fort Worth, Texas, from 1983 to 1989. For three years off and on, Buckmore was homeless, living in shelters in Augusta and Waterville before a Veterans Affairs representative told him he would be a good candidate for the Cabin in the Woods program. In May, Buckmore found out he had qualified. “It gives me hope. It is a secure place. We are here as long as we want to be here. A place to call home,” said Buckmore. The 16-one-bedroom-and-five-two-bedroom Cabin in the Woods project is a collaboration between Volunteers of America, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and a host of other partners including Maine Housing, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Bangor Savings Bank, TD Charitable Foundation, Home Depot Foundation, and Northern New England Housing Investment Fund. Located on 11 acres of land next to the Togus VA Medical

Center in Augusta, the project is designed to give veterans a home in a community setting where they also have easy access to services at the Togus medical center. Richard Hooks Wayman, president and CEO of Volunteers of America, Northern New England, said the project got its start about ten years ago with the realization that too many veterans were being housed in emergency homeless shelters and others were living outside because they preferred not to use the shelter system. Because many of those veterans also received services at Togus, it made sense to locate the housing project at Togus and the Veterans Administration quickly jumped on board. With 133 veterans now homeless in the state, the project has made a meaningful impact. Wayman said there are a confluence of issues, from a lack of access to mental health care and addiction treatment resources to the high cost of housing, that make addressing homelessness among veterans a challenge. Still, he said, the scope of the problem is not so large that it can’t be solved. Robert Marcroft, a housing resource specialist at Preble

Street Veterans Housing Services and co-chair of the Maine Homeless Veterans Action Committee, said there is a coalition of entities like Preble Street and Volunteers of America that are working to help address homelessness among veterans. One factor that has improved services for homeless veterans is a greater level of coordination between the different groups and agencies providing services to veterans. Those groups compile the “By Name” list of all known homeless veterans and work together to reach out to veterans with a wide range of resources from job training to housing. “Our system has gotten better at housing veterans more quickly when they become homeless,” said Marcroft. The goal is to reach a functional level of zero veterans homeless, which essentially means that once a veteran does become homeless, veterans’ groups or others are able to reach them quickly with the services they need to pull them off the street. Erin Kelly, the By Name Manager of the Homeless Veterans Action Committee, said each of the 133 known homeless veterans has a unique story and face unique challenges.

VETERANS DAY • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • November 10, 2018

Kelly said that providing veterans with a home helps them hold down a regular job, access health care, and solve a host of other issues. Through the Veterans Administration and organizations like Preble Street and the Volunteers of America, there is a wide range of services available to veterans but the high cost of housing remains a barrier. Marcroft said that what his organization needs most of all are landlords willing to provide veterans with apartments. By providing a safety net for veterans, Marcroft said his organization can also help protect landlords. Landlords want dependable tenants, and Marcroft said resources are available to help veterans make security deposits and keep up with the rent. And after a veteran moves in, Marcroft said his organization is there to help landlords and veterans work through any issues. For some veterans, having a home can mean going back to work and reconnecting with family. Steven McFarland of Bangor, who served in the Marine Corps for four years as a combat Veteran Tim Buckmore in front of his new engineer, said his latest stint of homelessness home in the Cabin in the Woods project next to began when he couldn’t afford to buy the the Togus VA Medical Center campus in Au- smartphone that his job required him to have. gusta, Maine. Contributed photo. In September, MacFarland was living in

the Cabin in the Woods project in Augusta but he hoped eventually to get back to Bangor, his home. He said he moved out of an apartment in Bangor last year when he realized he could no longer keep up with the rent. “I don’t like to collect debt. I don’t like to be in debt to people,” said MacFarland. MacFarland said his new home is a nice break from living in the woods, but he said veterans also give up some freedoms when they move into the cabins. He has worked construction all of his life, and he said he hopes to go back to work, but


at 61 years old, it isn’t easy. He is used to hearing the long silence at the other end of the line when he responds to an advertisement for a job and answers the questions about his age. After the silence, the voice on the other end of the line usually tells him that they are looking for someone a little younger. McFarland still believes he has something to contribute and he hasn’t given up hope. He tells prospective employers that if he doesn’t meet their expectations after a day’s work, he will walk away and they don’t even have to pay him.



VETERANS DAY • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • November 10, 2018

What I learned… BY JODI HERSEY

We asked a group of veterans what they learned from their time in service. What they said might surprise you.

David Bergquist Hometown: Hermon Branch: Army National Guard Rank: Staff Sergeant Length of service: 6 ½ years Last duty station: Lincoln, Nebraska “I learned how to work and get along with many different people harmoniously. I learned from the military staff how to take direction and do what they asked. I was eventually became a Dean for a college and had to learn to work with all different types of students and professors. I think often of those days [in the military] and believe people today would benefit from it.”

Phillip Bullard Hometown: Holden Branch: Navy Rank: E9

Length of Service: 21 years Last Duty Station: Norfolk, Virginia “The most valuable lesson I learned in the Navy was to volunteer to get the job done. I’ve been volunteering to do things my entire life. It’s been a wonderful factor in my success in life.”

“We all come out of our neighborhoods with people we’re used to. When you get into the military, you have to deal with all sorts of people and you learn how to get along with folks. The crew I worked with was a pretty great bunch of guys. There are 11 of us still alive. I see them and talk to them as much as I can. It is a special bond that people who haven’t served will never understand.”

Todd Eaton

Ben Haskell

Hometown: Levant Branch: Army & Air National Guard Rank: Master Sergeant Length of service: 30 Last Duty Station: Bangor, Maine

Hometown: Brewer Branch: Army Rank: Captain Length of service: 3 years Last duty station: Saigon, South Vietnam

“The military instilled in me a high degree of reverence and camaraderie. A unit cannot survive without it because we learn to do for ourselves while depending on those serving with us.”

Dusty Fisher Hometown: Brewer Branch: Army Rank: E4 Length of Service: 3 years Last Duty Station: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“The Vietnam era was tough for the military. I learned self confidence, the value of being persistent, the value of integrity and honesty, and how to deal with your fellow soldiers whether you were leading them or taking orders.”

Lynn Kelley Hometown: Old Town Branch: Navy Rank: Aviation Storekeeper Second Class Length of service: 5 years

VETERANS DAY • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • November 10, 2018

Last duty station: Brunswick, Maine “I learned I was stronger and more independent than I had thought. I had a very wise friend, a lieutenant, sit me down and tell me when I was trying to decide between staying with my squadron or going into officer training that just because I was able to do something, didn’t mean I had to do it. Yes, I was fully qualified, but I didn’t plan on making the military my career and I was happy where I was. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you have to do it. Find what makes you happy. It’s a life lesson that I still live by and have tried to pass on to my children.”

Stacey Pendexter Hometown: Bangor Branch: Navy Rank: E-6 Length of service: 20 years Last Duty Station: NAS Oceana, Virginia “What I learned from my military service was to respect others because we all come from different walks of life, different cultures, and different experiences.”

Mary Jane Shaw Hometown: Hermon Branch: Air Force, Maine Air National Guard Rank: Master Sergeant Length of service: 34 years Last duty station: Bangor, Maine “I learned everyone has something to bring to the table. A successful mission is the result of teamwork.”

Joshua Tilton Hometown: Newburgh Branch: Army National Guard Rank: Sergeant Length of Service: 8 years Last Duty Station: Waterville, Maine “I learned the importance of camaraderie.”

Mark Stanford Hometown: Bangor Branch: Air Force Rank: Sergeant Length of Service: 4 years Last Duty Station: Limestone, Maine


“There are many things I learned about military service. First, I learned commitment. So many people doing so many jobs and all the pieces fit together, and your part is to be committed to the process. Second, I learned love of country. In the Air Force I met Puerto Ricans, African Americans, Italians, and Asians and yet we were one. We were family. Lastly, I learned I would kill or die for this country. Not popular words today, but the cold reality is that there are people intent on doing harm to our citizens. Discovering that I would pull that trigger, that I would be willing to die in the process, and that I endorse others who would do the same doesn’t make me noble. It is simply doing what needs to be done to maintain freedom.”


VETERANS DAY • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • November 10, 2018

Hammond Lumber among those supporting Wreaths Across America Hammond Lumber Company will be among those supporting Wreaths Across America this holiday season in their threepronged mission to “Remember the Fallen,” “Honor Those Who Serve,” and “Teach Our Children the Value of Freedom.” Wreaths Across America is a national nonprofit organization founded in 2007 and based in Columbia Falls, Maine. Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, their three-prong mission is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and more than 1,400 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad. In 2017, over 1.5 million wreaths were laid at 1,433 participating cemeteries. On November 9, Hammond Lumber Company will begin a sixweek fundraising effort in conjunction with Veterans’ Day by participating in RED (“Remember Everyone Deployed”) Friday. Employees will wear co-branded RED t-shirts or sweatshirts each Friday from November 9 to December 14. Family members, friends, and customers can also participate and receive one RED T-shirt apparel item by making a $25 donation. All funds will be used to purchase wreaths for distribution at the Veterans’ Cemeteries in Augusta on National Wreaths Across America Day, scheduled for Saturday, December 15, 2018. Wreaths can be sponsored in honor of a living veteran, or in memory of a fallen hero.

On December 8, the Hammond Lumber Company chip trailer will travel to Wreaths Across America’s home office in Columbia Falls to collect the wreaths and participate in the first leg of the Wreaths Across America convoy to Arlington. After making stops along the route, the day will end with a rally at the Augusta Civic Center. The Hammond chip trailer will then return to Belgrade where the wreaths will be stored until they are distributed on National Wreaths Across America day, December 15. On Saturday, December 15, anyone wishing to participate in the convoy and/or the laying of the wreaths can gather at Hammond Lumber Company in Belgrade. The effort expects to visit the Togus National Cemetery in Togus (5,373 headstones), the Central Maine Veterans Cemetery on Civic Center Drive (543 headstones), and the Central Maine Veterans Cemetery on Mount Vernon Road (150 headstones). If you have sponsored a wreath and have a loved one in any of these cemeteries you may opt to personally place a wreath at their gravesite. Hammond Lumber Company is also making a donation of inkind of materials needed to renovate what will be the WAA hospitality house for Gold Star families, veterans and volunteers who wish to visit the WAA headquarters. Visit any of Hammond Lumber Company’s 21 store locations for more details and to make a donation. For more information on Wreaths Across America, visit

Varney Agency wishes to thank all Veterans for their service to our country




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