SMILE Nov. 7_ 2008 by ashrafp


									                                       The American Legion
                                       Department of Maine
                                          P.O. Box 900, Waterville, ME 04903
                                                  Tel: (207) 873-3229

                                             Weekly Update
                                               November 7, 2008

                            The true test of leadership is not what happens in a
                       period of success, but what happens in difficult circumstances.

                                            SMILE 
Congratulations to the following for achieving 100% in membership:

                                              North Haven Post 33

                                          Mid-Winter Conference To
                                           Be Held At York Post 56

The annual Mid-Winter Conference of the Maine American Legion will be held at the Ramsdell-Rogers Post 56
in York on Saturday, January 17, 2009. Department Commander John Doyle and Second Vice Commander
Randy Kluj will offer an interesting agenda covering several topics, most of which should be of interest to all of
our Legion family members and guests. All are welcome.

York Post 56 is putting the finishing touches on their new 13,000 square foot post home, which will host a
ribbon cutting ceremony during National Commander Dave Rehbein’s visit to Maine on November 15th. Post
Commander Gene Lemay and a host of other Post 56 members will be putting their best foot forward to warmly
welcome all Legion family members to their new home during our conference.

On Friday we will gather at the post to greet old friends and make new ones for a social time. Saturday’s
agenda will start at 9 a.m. and conclude about 3 p.m., with lunch and dinner available at the post home. Further
details will be announced at a later date.

Rooms are available at many local motels including the following which have offered discounted rates as quoted
below. Reservations are to be made by each individual as the Department HQ will not be coordinating reserva-
tions for this conference.

Best Western York Inn – Single or double; $59.99 plus tax. ($49.93 if 25 or more Legion rooms) Tel: 363-8903

Microtel Inn and Suites – Single; $60 plus tax. Double; $69.52 plus tax. Suite; $76.42 plus tax. Tel: 363-0800

Union Bluff Hotel – Single; $79.00 plus tax. Double $89.00 plus tax. Suites avail. Add $40 per room for ocean
view. Legion discount from these rates: 10% for one night, 20% for two nights. Tel: 363-1333.
                                                We Owe Veterans
                                                Our Appreciation

By American Legion National Commander Dave Rehbein.

John C. Villepigue was a 22-year-old Army corporal from Camden, S.C. On a mid-October day, Villepigue and
two comrades were on a scouting mission when they were ambushed and bombarded with enemy machine gun
fire. One of Villepigue’s fellow scouts was instantly killed and the other seriously wounded, but Villepigue
charged on. Advancing another 500 yards, he killed four enemy soldiers, captured six more and secured the two
enemy machine guns, while sustaining serious injuries of his own.

Villepigue was not a veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan, although similar brave acts have occurred there. He was a
veteran of World War I and he succumbed to his wounds six months after the ambush. For his actions at Vaux-
Adigny, France, he received the Medal of Honor. He passed away on April 18, 1919; one month after a group
of his fellow World War I veterans in Paris founded a veteran’s organization called The American Legion. The
new Legionnaires vowed to “preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars.” As
the current head of that same organization, I can attest that it is a promise The American Legion lives up to
every day. While Veterans Day is intended to honor all of the great men and women who have served in the
U.S. military, Americans should remember that every moment we spend in freedom is due to the sacrifices that
generations of heroes have made on our behalf.

Nobody hates wars more than those who have had to fight them, but let us never forget that wars have main-
tained our freedom, liberated slaves, stopped genocide and toppled terrorists. It is insufficient to simply say we
support the troops but not follow up on that commitment with deeds. The White House and Congress need to
ensure that the VA health system is always fully funded and accessible to all veterans. The new GI Bill needs to
be user-friendly and sufficiently cover the high cost of education. Americans should assist family members of
those deployed overseas by offering friendship and neighborly assistance in their communities. Most of all,
Americans should never blame the soldier for decisions made by politicians.

Not all veterans have seen war, but they have all taken oaths in which they expressed their willingness to die
defending this nation. This loyalty and devotion should be rewarded by the would-be employer considering a
qualified job applicant who has worn the uniform of our great nation. It should be remembered by the landlord
frustrated that the family of one of his deployed tenants has fallen a little behind on the rent. It should be unders-
tood by the college professor whose student missed a few classes to receive medical treatment at a VA hospital.

Veterans are proud. Many are successful business leaders, police officers, teachers, and other pillars of the
community. While some may have struggled through tough times, they ask for neither hand-outs nor pity. There
are far easier ways to receive government assistance than to crawl around in the dirt and get shot at. Simply put,
veterans just want what we all owe them – the thanks of a grateful nation.

George Washington had it right when he said, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve
in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars
were treated and appreciated by our nation.”

The American Legion appreciates their service. We owe them no less.

                                             Legion Launches New
                                               GI Bill Web Site

The American Legion has launched an informative new Web site to help veterans and their families understand
the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which takes effect Aug. 1, 2009, and how it compares with other federal education bene-
fits for veterans.

The site – – includes clear explanations of the different GI Bill benefits, news alerts and
updates, frequently asked questions, state-by-state benefits and online application opportunities. The site also
includes information about The American Legion’s historical and ongoing role in the evolution of veterans’
education benefits. The site will continue to evolve with new features and updated material every week.

“This new Web site comes in response to quite a bit of confusion from veterans since the passage of the Post
9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008 last summer,” American Legion National Commander David
K. Rehbein said. “There are some major differences between the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill
veterans need to understand. Foremost, they need to understand that they have choices and should review all of
the different education benefits to see which one best meets their needs.”

“The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 – the original GI Bill – was the brainchild of American Legion
members, most notably Past National Commander Harry Colmery, who drafted it in longhand from a room
inside the Mayflower Hotel in Washington,” Rehbein said. “He and his fellow Legionnaires worked diligently in
Washington and around the nation to get it passed. The rest is history – a half-century of economic prosperity, a
7-to-1 return on investment for the federal government and, really, the creation of the American middle class.”

The Legion was actively involved, as well, in the creation of the Post 9/11 GI Bill last spring, which aimed to
improve portability of the benefit, especially for members of the National Guard and Reserve, and to make it
transferable to spouses and dependents. The American Legion worked closely with the bill’s primary author,
Sen. James Webb, D-Va., during its creation.

“While there are still some issues to be worked out, the new GI Bill fills in a lot of gaps the Montgomery GI Bill
did not cover,” Rehbein said. “Likewise, there are some benefits of the Montgomery GI Bill that may outweigh
those of the Post 9/11 bill. Veterans need simple, clear answers that are sometimes hard to find in govern-
ment-run media and documents. That’s what we are doing with”

                                               American Veterans

On Monday, Nov. 10, the seventh grade from the SeDoMoCha Middle School in Dover-Foxcroft will host a
Veterans Day assembly from 1:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. The purpose of the assembly is to honor the
men and women of the armed forces whose sacrifice, dedication and commitment impact our lives today in the
United States and throughout the world. The SeDoMoCha Middle School band will perform and there will be
desserts and refreshments provided. All veterans are welcome.

                                            Veterans Day Memorial
                                              Road March 2008

On Tuesday, November 11, 2008 beginning at 6:00 a.m., soldiers, veterans and supporters will conduct a
twenty-one mile march, which will begin at the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial in Capitol Park in Augusta. The
group will travel north on State Street, cross the Augusta bridge and travel north on Route 201 to Winslow. The
marchers will cross the Carter Memorial Bridge to Waterville and travel north on Silver Street, cross the Water-
ville-Winslow bridge, continue north on Benton Ave. to the Winslow Memorial Park, located on the Roderick
Road. Soldiers are expected to arrive at the memorial by 12:00 p.m.

Following the march, a memorial service will be conducted, rendering honor to our fallen veterans. Please join
us in honoring our deserving veterans. All veterans and supporters are invited to march in this event or any
portion of the route or to join us at the memorial service at noon. For more information, please contact CSM
Randall Liberty at or call 623-3591 ext. 240 or 485-0941 or SFC Ron Liberty, USA
Ret. at or call 314-4996.

                                              Postal Service Sets
                                          Holiday Mailing Guidelines

As the holidays approach and military families start thinking about what they are going to send loved ones
overseas, there are a two dates the United States Postal Service (USPS) asks you to keep in mind.

The earliest deadline is for troops serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan areas. This mail should be sent no later
than December 4th. Holiday mail, including packages and cards going to military bases in other parts of the
world should be shipped by December 11th.

Al DeSarro, spokesman for the western region of the U. S. Postal Service said, “We do encourage people to
closely follow these deadlines, but of course we make every attempt to deliver the mail to our troops, even if
you miss the deadline.” If you cannot make the above deadlines there is another option called Express Mail,
which costs more and is not available for service members in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Normally individuals will use Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes as this is the best value whether shipping overseas
or at home. The largest Flat-Rate box costs $10.95 to ship to an APO or FPO address, which is discounted $2
and the boxes are free. There is also another bonus with these boxes as if the item or items will fit in the box
and weighs less than 70 pounds, it will ship at the established rate.

There is also a special military package kit, which applies even if you want to send to troops here in the U. S. If
you call 1-800-610-8734 they will send you a free kit of packaging materials, which includes priority mail
boxes, tape, labels, and stuffing.

When shipping any holiday package there are some basic guidelines to follow. The box should be sturdy, don’t
use wrapping paper or string on the outside, and print both shipping and return addresses clearly. Contents
should be packaged securely in leak-proof container and you need to consider the customs of the country to
which you are shipping to be sure items are appropriate and acceptable. USPS also suggests including in the
package the mailing address, return address and a list of the contents on a slip of paper just in case something
out of the ordinary should happen.
                                              Lowe’s, Home Depot
                                            Offer Veterans Discounts

The Home Depot and Lowe’s, the world’s largest home improvement retailers, once again are offering a 10
percent Veterans Day discount to active-duty service members, reservists, retirees, veterans and their immediate
family members.

The Lowe’s discount is available Nov. 6 through Nov. 11 on purchases of up to $5,000 in U.S. stores from
merchandise in stock and special order. The maximum discount would be $500. The discount does not apply to
sales at, previous sales, or purchases of services or gift cards. To qualify, you must
present a valid military ID or other proof of service.

The Home Depot discount is available Nov. 6 through Nov. 12 on purchases up to $2,000, for a maximum
discount of $200. The discount is offered at The Home Depot stores, The Home Depot Design Center locations,
Yardbirds and EXPO Design Center locations. To get the discount, you must provide proof of military service
when checking out, and the discount will be applied at the register.

In addition to providing military discounts at specific times during the year for the last several years, the two
retailers extend benefits for their employees called to active duty, and actively seek to hire military personnel
after they leave the service.

Other efforts include The Home Depot’s Project Homefront, in which $1 million and 1 million volunteer hours
have been donated to help military families with home repairs while their service member is deployed.


            THANK YOU          THANK YOU          THANK YOU          THANK YOU          THANK YOU

       District 17 – No. Aroostook                                    $50.00 – Maine Blind Camp
       District 11 Commander Ron Cropley                              $50.00 – Commander’s Project (Vet Aid)

                                                    Thank You

To the Legion Family:

Thank you to the Legion family members, who made phone calls, sent cards and came to the hospital while I
was recuperating.

Robert “Ki” Owen
NEC/Department Service Officer


To Jon Guay, Emmett Stuart and Commander Dan Cyr of Auburn Post 153 for all they did to secure and deliver
the many clothing and other items for the Homeless Veterans Stand Down on November 1 at Togus.

To Harpswell Post 171 for their $100 donations to each of Harpswell’s six scouting units for a total of $600.

To Guilford Post 119 for their donations of $200 to the Guilford Food Bank and $500 to the Guilford Area
Kiwanis Club for their Children’s Christmas Program.

To Old Orchard Beach Post 57 for their donation of $600 to the Old Orchard Beach Police Dept. to assist in
purchasing dog food for the canine division.

To Telstar High School in Bethel for hosting all area veterans on Friday, Nov. 7 to thank them for their service
to our country.

To Locke Mills Post 68 and Bethel Post 81 for an outstanding combined Boys State and Girls State recognition
dinner held at Post 68.

                                               District Meetings

District 15 – Washington: Nov. 9, Machias Post 9, turkey & trimmings, food auction & ornament exchange.
District 10 – Somerset: Nov. 10, Madison Post 39, 6:30 p.m., light lunch to follow
District 9 – Kennebec: Nov. 12, Gardiner Post 4, 7 p.m.
District 14 – Piscataquis: Nov. 15, Dexter Post 53, 6:30 p.m. supper, 7:30 mtg.
District 11 – Waldo: Nov. 16, Palermo Post 163, 2 p.m.

                                              What’s Happening?

Public Hunter’s Supper: Nov. 8, Unity Post 50 on Windemere Lane in Unity, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Adults $6.00,
children $3.00. Door prizes and a raffle drawing following supper.

2008 Firefighter Chili Cook-off for American Veteran’s: Nov. 11, Auburn Post 153, 71 S. Main St., 11
a.m.-2 p.m. Those interested in competing or testing homemade chili are invited.

Berlin Vet Center Grand Opening: Nov. 14, Gorham NH, 10 a.m. The Berlin Vet Center, offering readjust-
ment counseling services for combat veterans and their families will be open as of this day at 515 Main Street,
Suite 2, Gorham NH. FMI please contact Wendy Mayerson at 603-752-3618. This may be a more convenient
location for those of you in western Maine than other counseling centers located in Maine.

Comedy night: Nov. 15, Lisbon Post 158, 6:30 p.m., dance to follow. Nick Slave and other Maine comedians
will be appearing at the comedy show. There is no cover charge. FMI please call Kris Crawford 689-6605.

                                               Directory Change

Trenton Post 207 will not be meeting on Sunday, November 9, 2008.

                                        Sons of The American Legion
                                             Detachment News

Thursday evening, The Department Commander, other Legion Family dignitaries and I had the honor of
attending a Dirigo Boys & Girls State banquet at Locke Mills. Jackson-Silver Post 68 of Locke Mills and
Mundt-Allen Post 81 of Bethel combined their efforts on this program this year resulting in eleven young people
attending Boys & Girls State from the Telstar region. As a number of these students and parents are
legionnaires, I see potential leaders for the Sons and Junior Auxiliary. Post 68 has an inactive Squadron but has
been working hard to reactivate it. After a wonderful meal, each student shared a little bit of their Dirigo
experience with those assembled. I was struck by the Americanism, appreciation of public service and
awakening to the duties of citizenship. This is one Children & Youth program that is certainly paying off with
future leaders and better citizens.

The Detachment Executive Committee will meet in Fairfield at noon on Sunday, November 16th.

If your Squadron has an event and would like it in the SMILE, please contact me by Wednesday at

Bruce Pierce
Detachment Commander

                                               Auxiliary Corner

What’s Happening: Nov. 29, Christmas Auction, Bath Unit 21. To benefit the Troop Support Program at the
post home. Social hour at 5 p.m., auction from 6 to 9 p.m. $5 per person with refreshments, raffles and door
prizes. Special guest National Vice Commander Jim LaCoursiere of Connecticut. FMI please contact Ginny at
319-2427 or

Donna “Bunny” Greenlaw
Department President

                                                            Best Wishes,

                                                            Ron Sailor
                                                            Department Adjutant

                                          Certification Form
                         Department Vice Commander’s Awards
                                 INDIVIDUAL INCENTIVE AWARDS

Awarded to Legionnaires, Auxiliary or SAL members by Department Vice Commander’s Andy Olson and
Randy Kluj.

This is to certify that: ____________________________________________________________
                         Member’s name
Mailing address                      Town        State                   Zip code
of _________________________________________________ Post No. __________

NOTE: to qualify to receive this award, new members recruited may be Legionnaires, Auxiliary or SAL mem-
                                                 # of                  Total
                                                 Members               Points
Vice-Commander’s Pin:
      2 new members                              _____                 _____

Top Gun Recruiter Pin:
     5 new members                               _____                _____

Legion Ball Cap:
      10 new members                             _____                _____

A $50 Gas Card:
      20+ new members                            _____                _____

TOTAL POINTS ACCUMULATED:                                             _____

__________________________                       ________________________________
Signed, Post Adjutant                            Dated

Duplicate as needed.                             Mail this form to:
                                                 The American Legion, Department of Maine
                                                 P.O. Box 900, Waterville, ME 04903-0900


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