Governor’s Support of Veterans Continues with Tomorrow’s “Maine Veterans Stand Up and Be Counted Day”

February 24, 2012

For Immediate Release: Friday, February 24, 2012
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

All Maine Residents Encouraged to Assist a Veteran in Need

AUGUSTA – As part of his Administration’s ongoing effort to thank and assist Maine’s service members, veterans and their families, Governor Paul LePage announced today that Saturday, February 25th, has been proclaimed “Maine Veterans Stand Up and Be Counted Day.” Tomorrow’s designation seeks to highlight the low number of veterans who apply for educational and other benefits they may be entitled to receive.

“Maine is proud that 140,000 veterans call this State home,” the Governor stated. “They served us well and many sacrificed a great deal to protect our country. Too few, however, apply for veteran’s benefits from the state and federal government.”

It is estimated that only 30% of retired military personnel have applied for the veteran’s benefits provided by the State and Federal governments. In the case of Maine’s roughly 10,000 women who have served, the numbers are more discouraging---with just 10% having applied. With regard to State and Federal educational benefits available to Maine veterans, it is estimated that only 2% have applied.

In announcing “Maine Veterans Stand Up and Be Counted Day”, the Governor encouraged all Maine residents to assist the veterans in their families and communities by reminding them that educational benefits and other assistance may be available. Veterans and their family members may contact Maine’s Bureau of Veterans’ Services to learn more. Information is available at www.maine.gov/dvem/bvs, by e-mail to mainebvs@maine.gov or by calling 430-6035.

Saturday’s observance concludes a week in which the Governor welcomed home approximately 130 Service Members from the Marine Corps Forces Reserve who were returning from a ten month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Governor also took action this week to ensure that the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management and the Department of Health and Human Services work closely and expeditiously to provide all health care and related information to our State’s veterans and to make them fully aware of all available health services from the State and Federal governments.

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