Chapter 5

Career Military

No collection of tributes honoring Maine veterans would be complete without a special section dedicated to those military personnel who made military service their careers. Their dedication, service, and commitment to their country distinguish their professional lives in ways that deserve special recognition.

Among the thousands of requests received by the Secretary of State's office to Vote in Honor of a Veteran, scores of them were tributes to veterans who had military careers spanning decades and including duty in several major military engagements. Some even served in more than one branch of the military.

The following samples represent responses that proudly honor husbands who made the military their careers:

I am voting in honor of my husband, Robert W. Field, who served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. His active duty was in the U.S. Navy from 1945-1971, when he retired as a Master Chief.
Maxine L. Field, Ellsworth

My husband, Kevin Fortin, served in the Army for 22 years. He went to Korea and then Vietnam early in that war and did real well serving his country. He accomplished a lot on behalf of our family.
Evelyn Fortin, Van Buren


I will be proud to vote in honor of my husband, Albert Friedman, AFCM Navy Retired, who served his country with pride. His love of the Navy was an example to all who served with him. We have been married for 53 years, but he has been in a nursing home since last April; his thoughts of his years in the Navy are all his own now.
Mrs. Hyla Friedman, Jay

Albert Friedman
Albert Friedman

I am voting in honor of my husband, Daniel Gatchell, who served 3 years in the U.S. Army, one of them in Vietnam. Then he served 21 years in the U.S. Coast Guard; he was stationed on icebreakers and participated in search and rescue missions and drug enforcement activities, and spent 12 months on isolated duty on the island of Iwo Jima. He retired in 1993 as a Warrant Officer.
Judythe Gatchell, Brunswick

Raymond E. Bland
Raymond E. Bland


I pay tribute to my husband, Raymond E. Bland, who entered the Marine Corps in 1948. He served in Korea and received the Purple Heart; he also served in Vietnam and retired in 1974. He is very proud of his service to his country and proud of the USMC.
Ruth L. Bland, Wells

My husband, Richard F. Alexander, Sr., served 21 years in the U.S. Coast Guard. He was in the first Tet Offensive in Vietnam in 1967-68 aboard a CG cutter serving with coastal surveillance forces.

Joyce Alexander, South Portland


I will proudly vote in honor of my husband, Fred J. Bowers, Jr., who retired from the Army Air Corps after 30 years of service and is now deceased. He was a radioman during WWII, was wounded, and received the Purple Heart.
Lois H. Bowers, Bangor

Fred J. Bowers, Jr.
Fred J. Bowers, Jr.

I am paying tribute to my husband, Sidney T. Lewis, retired Colonel and physician in the USAF. He served in Vietnam, was a Clinic Commander in the Canal Zone and at Hanscam AFB in Massachusetts, Director of Professional Services at WPAFB in Ohio, and teacher at Brooks AFB in Texas.
Hilda M. Lewis, Eastport
Served in Operation Desert Storm

Sons and daughters voted in honor of fathers whose examples of patriotism and dedication to duty inspired them:

I am voting in honor of my father, Gerald Murphy, who served from 1947-67 and retired as a U.S. Navy Chief. He did 3 tours in Vietnam on the Ranger, the Constellation, and the Midway. My father taught us patriotism by living it. He was very proud to be in the Navy and taught all 3 of his children to be proud to be U.S. citizens.
Diane Whispell, Durham

Our father and father-in-law, Simon L. Soctomah, is a full-blooded Passamaquoddy, who served in the Infantry in WWII and also the Korean War, during which he was wounded. He is the father of 7 children and was proud to have served his country.
Lena Jackson, Londonderry, NH , daughter
Kenneth Jackson, son-in-law
Served in Vietnam

I am proud to vote in honor of both of my parents, Earl and Mary Doliber. My father served in the Navy in WWII and then in the Army with service in Korea and Vietnam until 1966. My mother faithfully followed him from posting to posting, including trips overseas 3 times, and she raised 5 children on the way.
Dana E. Doliber, Sanford
Served in Vietnam, 1967-68

We are proud to be voting in honor of our parents, John and Hattie Nelson. Both served in the U.S. Army. Dad was a hero in the Gulf War and served 16 years active duty. Mom "wore combat boots" in the Women's Army Corps.
Nick and Jennifer Nelson, Lincoln

I am proud of my father, William Harold Knobel, who served in the USMC from 1942_1970, with duty in WWII, the China occupation, Korean peacekeeping efforts (1953) and Vietnam (1965-66).
David Knobel, J.D., Sabattus

I am voting in honor of my father, James Watts, who served in both WWII and Vietnam. He influenced me to join the Navy and to serve my country proudly.
Diane Turcotte, Skowhegan
Served in Vietnam

I am proud of my dad, John L. Ketner, Sr., who served in the Navy for 30 years. He served on the USS Pittsburg in WWII and the USS Houston in the China seas and did several tours in the Pacific. I am very proud of him.
John L. Ketner, Jr., Farmingdale
Served in the Korea, "forgotten war"

My father, William P. Curran, served in the Army for 22 years. His duty included Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, Luzon, Philippines, New Caledonia and Korea. During his service he won the Silver Star with Oak Leaf cluster and the Purple Heart.
Bernadette A. Curran Steele, Waldoboro

John C. Hanusek, Sr., 1944
John C. Hanusek, Sr.

I would like to honor my father, John C. Hanusek, Sr., because he has told me many interesting and sad stories of the days he faithfully served. I feel all people should duly respect all veterans for what they did for us. Not enough can be said and done to honor our veterans. I honor my daddy, the flag, and am very proud to say my father has honored and served our country. He taught me the value of life and laughter. With great respect he served on the USS Fargo in the Navy in WWII and as an airplane machinist in the USAF during the Korean Conflict.
Tina Antoine, Saco

Other Maine citizens pay tribute to a family member's lifetime of public service:

We are voting in honor of our grandfather, CWO4 Robert J. Gillis Jr., who served for 26 years in the USAF, with duty during WWII, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam. He retired to Calais, where he remained active in local politics and served as mayor, state representative, and county commissioner.
Rod E. Tirrell, Calais
Theresa Milton, Calais

Charlotte C. Robertson
Charlotte C. Robertson


I am voting in honor of my wife, Charlotte C. Robertson, who served in the Navy Medical Corps during WWII and Korea.
William P. Robertson III, Franklin
Served in WWII and Korea

George F. Lovejoy, Jr.
George F. Lovejoy, Jr.


I am voting in honor of my brother, George F. Lovejoy, who served in the Navy, in WWII and the
Korean Conflict. He served as Acting Chief, Aviation Machinist Mate on the aircraft carrier Valley Forge and was decorated twice for saving aviators from planes on fire on the deck of the carrier.

George F. Lovejoy, Sr.
George F. Lovejoy, Sr.

My father, George F. Lovejoy, Sr., joined the Navy in 1918 when he was only 15 years old to serve in WWI. Then he served in the Massachusetts National Guard from 1930 until 1940. In 1941, with the threat of war on the horizon, his unit was activated and federalized. He served in the Pacific Theater for the duration of the war. Lt. Col. Lovejoy was awarded the Bronze Star and a number of other citations for action in the Pacific.

His division was pinned down by a superior enemy force for an entire month. We only learned of our father's safety when neighbors of ours in Saugus (Massachusetts) told us that they had seen his picture in a February, 1943 issue of Life. We confirmed that it was indeed his picture and he later acknowledged that he had been photographed overlooking Henderson Field after its recapture by the Americans.
James E. Lovejoy, Unity

Pride in veterans' military careers continues:

We are voting in honor of our uncle, Peter P. Lenosky, who joined the Army Air Force right out of high school. He served in the USAF from 1945-1965. He served his country all over the world and then returned home to raise six children. He loved Maine and Loring AFB. He remained fiercely patriotic until his death 2 years ago.
Carole Reid, Scarborough
Richard W. Reid, Scarborough

Edward Hoyt II
Edward Hoyt II


I am voting in honor of Edward Hoyt II, who served in the Air Force during the Korean War and the Marines during the Vietnam War. He has been very active in veterans' groups and veterans' activities.
Jeanne C. Kempers, Fairfield

My brother
, Ron Bennett, retired as an E-7 after serving 20 years with the Navy Seabees in Cuba, Antarctica, and Vietnam.
Paul L. Bennett, Lebanon

From 1952-1976 I proudly served in the U.S. Air Force with duty in both Korea and Vietnam.
Horatio S. Couture, Benton

I am one of a few in Maine that served in 3 conflicts.
Chauncey Gerry, North Waterboro
Served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam

I served in the U.S. Coast Guard for more than 20 years. My back was nearly broken in a fall during a search and rescue operation in the North Atlantic. There was a hurricane and the wind was 50 mph and the waves were 40 feet high.
Felix Y. Atienza, Jr., Windham
Served during Vietnam era

Additional Tributes Submitted Online

Tribute to my wife, Cynthia Smyrl Sprinkle:

I am very proud to cast my vote now and in the future in honor of the love of my life, Cynthia Sprinkle. Her recent retirement after completion of over 30 years of Naval Service, attaining the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer, AVCM(AW), stands in testimony to her dedication, devotion to duty and unyielding patriotism. She is an outstanding example of the many Sailors over the years who have stood the watch over our nation’s freedom. I am so very lucky to have her as not only a wife but a fellow Sailor.

Michael D Sprinkle, Lisbon

Tribute to my son, Gary Lawrence:

I will vote in honor of my son who has served in the Air Force since 1988 on the AWACS as a flight engineer and now on a KC10 as a flight engineer

Deanna Pease, West Gardiner

Tribute to my Brother, 1SG Randall Liberty:

Most will never be able to understand why you would work so hard to "volunteer" to go to Iraq. Those of us that "get it", will never be able to fully express our gratitude.

Ron Liberty, Madison

Tribute to my Brother, Galen Thompson:

I am paying tribute to my brother who has inspired me to serve our country.

SrA Adam J. Thompson, Medway

Tribute to my Husband, Jessie J. Lee:

My husband served 22 years for his country he served in Vietnam and several other overseas deployments. This is in his honor from his loving wife.

Valerie, Bath

Tribute to my Father, Louis Tonero:

I just wanted to say Thank You to my father who served in the Vietnam War and also made the Military his career. I am proud that you are my Dad. It means a lot to me to know that you were trying to make this world safer for me and everybody else who calls this HOME.

Thank you to all Military personnel Past, Present and Future.

Megan, Milo

Tribute to my friend, Chauncey Gerry:

Thank you for your support to the nation in 3 conflicts. I remember you mostly when I was a teenager working at Merrill's store, working at the race track, and knew of you as a younger kid. I went to school with Janice and graduated the same year, 1981. I myself decided to make the military a career. I did 22 years. I retired two years ago. I remember the days at the Waterboro Scrambles when you worked with my Uncle Woody Owen and when you were also in law enforcement. I am now living in Long Beach, California and I am a high school teacher. Thank you for your tough demure and gentle nature. God Bless and God Speed.

Patrick Hebert, Waterboro


Commander Erich Ashburn served honorably in the United States Navy for twenty years of dedicated service, he rose up through the enlisted ranks, accepted a Naval Commission, and commanded the Navy's first Hyrdo-plane ship, and went on to command the FLEET INTRODUCTION TEAM ONE at Bath, Maine supporting the Navy's FFG 7 Shipbuilding Program. His death was much too early and untimely.


Tribute to my Farther, Edmund John Sell:

I would like to honor my father Edmund Sell for his dedication to the United States navy. He served his country with pride and dignity for over 20 years.

Katie Sell, Sherman

Tribute to my late husband, Robert Paul Colbroth:

My husband was a marine and proud of it, he passed away on August 12th 2005 he was 43 and the most loving person you could ask for. He served his country even when having a medical condition and he did it well, now he rests from his heart operation. He was a loving husband and a loving dad to his kids...and he loved his family very much. He will be remembered by all that he touched....

Kathy J. Colbroth, Lisbon Falls

Tribute to my Command Chief, Andrew Merrill:

The Staff at Navy Operational Support Center, Peoria Is honored to have served with DCC. DCC has been a wonderful leader and shipmate. Though we are going to miss him we know that his retirement will bring him to the next phase of his life. Chief I would just like to say "Thank you, we have the watch. Fairwinds and following seas.

HM1 Bott, Peoria

Tribute to my Father, Kenneth Whitley:

Dedication and striving to succeed were the examples my father gave me; I watched him achieve the highest rank of a noncommissioned officer and serve his country for 26 years in the U.S. Air Force. I admire, respect, and honor my Dad.

Sheri Thomas, Glenburn, Maine

Tribute to my grandfather, Henry Beaumier:

Henry Beaumier was an outstanding soldier and patriot. He served his country honorably for 30 years, before retiring from the military, and another 20 as a firefighter. Henry loved this country, and he loved his family. People like this are what makes this country great.

Shannon Satterfield, Lewiston, Maine

Tribute to my Husband, Byron Burke:

Remembering you always in my heart your special angel.

Winola Burke, Calais, Maine

Tribute to my Husband, Roy Potter:

Thanks to his 20 years of service to this great country.

Karen Potter, Edgecomb, Maine

Tribute to my Brother, Michael Childers:

In Honor of His Service To Our Great Country!

Roland Gauthier,

Tribute to my Friends, Classmates Class of 1954:

This is a tribute to all the members of Stephens High School in Rumford, that served in the military. I am proud to have served with such an honorable group.

George A. Howe, Acton, Maine

Tribute to my Husband, George J. Romano, Jr.:

I would like to pay tribute to my husband George Romano, who served for 24 years in the United States Air Force - spanning from the Vietnam Conflict thru/after Desert Storm.

It is because of men and women like George that we have the freedom to say and do a lot of things that folks in other countries do not


Claire Romano, Sanford, Maine

Tribute to my Husband, Robert Colbroth:

I have never met a man anything like Bobby and I don’t think ever will. He is and was my guy from beginning to end and beyond. My heart belongs to him forever and I continue to fight for his rights. I love you Bobby your wife forever Kathy.

Kathy Colbroth, Turner, Maine

Tribute to my Father, Russell Meadows:

To his many years of service for the country loves. He loved serving his country and if he could re-enlist he would. He may not have gone to Iraq, but if he would have been told to he was going over, he would have gone over with pride. I find that dedication to his country to be an honorable one.

Jessica, Pittston, Maine

Tribute to my Husband, William Gallagher:

My husband served honorably from May 21, 1981 until he retired 1 Feb 2007. He served in three war zones, and was decorated many times. He was awarded the Bronze Star for actions in Iraq in 2004.

Rachel Charette, Fort Kent, Maine

Tribute to my Husband, Guy Merrill:

My husband served in the army for 23 years. I would like to recognize him for all the sarifices made for our country.

Joan Merrill, Auburn, Maine

Tribute to my Husband, Frank R. Norwood:

Master Sergeant (Retired) Frank R. Norwood grew up in Bucksport Maine and graduated from Bucksport High school in 1978. He joined the Maine Army National Guard on January 25th 1979 as a Construction Equipment Mechanic in the 262nd Engineer Battalion. He spent two years in the National Guard before joining the Regular Army on July 28th 1981. He was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina with Company C, 548th Engineer Battalion where he also worked as a Construction Equipment Mechanic. While assigned to the 548th Engineer Battalion he deployed with an Engineer Task Force to Grenada, West Indies as part of Operation Urgent Fury. He received his “Combat Patch” and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for the Grenada Operations. Master Sergeant Norwood served his tour and was honorably discharged from the Regular Army in 1985 and immediately rejoined the 262nd Engineer Battalion in the Maine Army National Guard. He was hired in the Active Guard & Reserve program in 1986 as a Personnel Actions Center Clerk for the 262nd Engineer Battalion.

Master Sergeant Norwood later assignments were with the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, State Area Command as a Unit Clerk, Administrative Noncommissioned Officer, Administrative Sergeant, State Readiness Noncommissioned Officer, Enlisted Branch Manager and his final assignment as the Administrative Branch Manager under the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, Joint Force Headquarters.

During his tenure with the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel the Maine Army National Guard deployed over 1230 Soldiers in support of our nation’s War on Terrorism. This was the largest deployment of Maine Army National Guard since World War II. He was responsible for the personnel actions which required detailed planning and coordination with Major Subordinate Commands, Directorates and the National Guard Bureau. Additionally, he was responsible for the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System and instrumental in the development of the issuance of the new Common Access Cards to all Soldiers and their families. He assisted other branches of the military being deployed while still supporting the thousands of retirees and their dependents. Such dedication contributed immensely to Maine’s exceptional 99% acceptance rate at mobilization stations such as Fort Drum, Fort Dix, Fort Benning and Fort Bragg.

Master Sergeant Norwood earned statewide respect from military, government and civilian communities for his commitment as the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of the Maine State Select Honor Guard. He was responsible for reviving, training and fighting for the required support to bring the Maine State Select Honor Guard to the most prestigious ceremonial unit in Maine’s History. He instilled the honor and dedication in all its members to become an elite group that was the pride of the Maine Army National Guard adopting the phase “Perfection is our goal, excellence will be tolerated” as the team motto. In the 10 years of his leadership he was responsible for coordinating over 700 events and personally participated in over 500 events ranging from gubernatorial inaugurations, posting colors at major sporting events with crowds of 35,000 and most important, performing Military Funerals for our fallen comrades. Master Sergeant Norwood devoted thousands of hours of his own personal time in developing such a cohesive team and has been recognized throughout his career by receiving 92 letters of appreciation in his Official Military Personnel File. These letters include 2 from Maine Governors, 17 signed by General Officers, Legislators, Veterans Organizations, Educators, Law Enforcement Agencies, Youth Organizations and grateful citizens.

Master Sergeant Norwood has instructed, assisted and aided fellow services, Veteran Organizations, Law Enforcement Agencies and Scouting groups on Drill & Ceremony, flag etiquette and organizing their own Honor Guards and Funeral Honors Details.

His untiring devotion to instilling patriotism and honor to fellow service members, Veterans and their families exemplifies his service to his state and nation.

His awards include two Meritorious Service Medals, Four Army Commendation Medals, Three Army Achievement Medals, Six Army Good Conduct Medals, The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Grenada), The Humanitarian Service Medal, Two National Defense Service Medals, The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, The Armed Forces Reserve Medal, The Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, The Army Driver and Mechanic Badge, The Maine State Emergency Service Ribbon (Flood of 1987), Maine State Commanders Award, The Maine Adjutant General Award, The Maine Army National Guard Sergeant Major Soldier of the Year Award, Two National Guard Bureau Guardsman Awards, Expert in all assigned weapons.

Master Sergeant Norwood will retire on 31 March 2004 with over twenty-five years of exemplary service to his state and nation and is a true and well known professional.

Master Sergeant (Retired) Norwood started performing Military Funerals in late 2004 shortly after retiring. He was hired on as the State Coordinator for Military Funeral Honors on April 1st 2005.

His job is to inform the public and Veterans of the new entitlement to Military Funeral Honors as well as ensure the Military Funeral Honors are performed to standard. The "Standard" that the Soldiers of the Maine Army National Guard Honor Guard are expected to perform is the same as the standards performed at Fort Myer Virginia...the 3rd US Infantry, "The Old Guard" at Arlington National Cemetery.

Since the program started performing Military Funeral Honors in 2004 we have performed nearly 6000 Military Funeral Honors Ceremonies from Fort Kent to Kittery and eastern Canada. The Soldiers of the Maine Army National Guard Honor Guard are performing the highest per capita number of Military Funerals in the United States. No other state with a similar Veteran population is doing what these Soldiers do. They perform all services for Soldiers killed in action, Soldiers who died on active duty, and all honorably discharged US Army Veterans. They also perform all Merchant Marine service for the state of Maine.

Master Sergeant (Retired) Frank Norwood was recently named "Man of the Year" by the Region 1, Joshua Chamberlain Chapter of the Association of the United States Army for his outstanding work for the Veterans of Maine.

Terry Norwood, Manchester, Maine

Tribute to my Late husband, Robert Paul Colbroth:

I would like say thank you to Bobby for all the time he spent in the marines. I know how proud his family is of him, he may be gone but never forgotten, he was a great husband and my best freind in life and I miss him. He was a son, a son-in-law, a awesome grampa and a great dad all around, an awesome man we love and miss him a lot. He is my angel.

Kathy Colbroth, Lewiston, Maine

Tribute to my Son, Corey R. McIver:

Your Dad and I are so VERY PROUD of your service to this GREAT Country. For the 2 1/2 years you sacrificed away from your precious boys at such a young age so that we could live a life of freedoms. For being such a Great example to many young men and women that you serve with. May God bless you as you serve your country each day with pride and devotion.

Sue McIver, Baileyville, Maine

Tribute to my Husband, Gary S. Forgione, Sr:

He served with pride!

Denise Forgione, Wells, Maine

Tribute to my Daughter-in-law, Major Cheryl Esty:

So very proud of you Cher for all you did serving in the U.S. Air Force. We miss you so and will never forget you. Keeping you close to our hearts and honoring you to your children Jake and Lauren that will always love you as their mom.

Darlene Warren, Phippsburg, Maine

Tribute to my Father, William J. Maxfield:

Tribute to my father who served 30 years in the United States Army. He was an intelligent, kind, brave man and I was lucky to have him as my dad. He loved every minute of his military career and was proud to serve his country. He is loved and missed by many.

Desiree Maxfield, Madawaska, ME

Tribute to my Wife, Isabel D. Raber:

Isabel served proudly in the U.S. Army Nurse Corp for 33 years. Loved caring for Our Vets.

James Raber, Augusta, Maine

Tribute to my Daddy, Walter MacIndoe:

Thank you for your service Daddy! We're very proud of all you accomplished. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your love. Thank you in so many ways.

-Jenny and Walter

Jenny Luce, Hope, jME

Previous Section | Table of Contents | Next Section