Governor Presents “Outstanding Veteran of the Year Awards” to WWII Veterans

July 11, 2013

For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 11
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage attended the Commanders Call Thursday morning meeting with representatives from Maine veteran’s service organizations. The meeting is part of his ongoing effort to maintain an open channel of communication with veterans.

The representatives meet regularly to discuss and address current issues and the needs of the Maine veterans’ population. The Governor said, “The feedback and guidance I get from this group is invaluable and I appreciate their open and honest dialogue. It is so critical that as Governor I know about the struggles facing Maine’s Veterans who have given so much.”

The Governor presented two WWII veterans, Arnold Leavitt of Augusta and Estol “Mac” McClintock of Wellington with the Outstanding Veteran of the Year Awards. These certificates are given in appreciation to the veteran who shows leadership and support and consistently goes above and beyond for fellow veterans.

“Mr. Leavitt and Mr. McClintock are part of Maine’s proud and long-standing tradition of service to our state and country. It is an honor to present the Outstanding Veteran of the Year award to both men,” said Governor LePage.

“We have the largest number of veterans per capita in the nation and we owe our heartfelt gratitude to our troops who defend our freedom and sacrifice time with their family, friends and communities to serve,” Governor LePage added.

In light of the recent focus and impassioned debate on LD 1503 "An Act To Ensure Student Access to Postsecondary Military Options", Governor LePage during the meeting expressed his disappointment of some Democrats who blocked the bill from moving forward. “As I prepare to go to Gettysburg, I am disgusted by some of the Democrats blatant rejection of this bill. It sends a message to all military service members – past and present – that they are not welcome in Maine’s public school system,” he said.

Twenty Democrats on Tuesday flipped their votes on LD 1503, a bill that would have allowed military recruiters the same access to Maine public schools as civilian career recruiters and would have further allowed them to wear their uniforms while visiting schools. View the roll-call here.

“Military service is not for everyone and this bill did nothing to force students into serving. It simply forbade school administrators from refusing recruiters in uniform to visit with students interested in exploring life’s options,” Governor LePage added.

Maine Veterans Services hosts the Commanders Call meeting with the Governor quarterly.