Governor and First Lady Send Holiday Message to Troops Serving Overseas
December 21, 2012
For Immediate Release: Friday, Dec. 21, 2012
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Communications Director (207) 287-2531
AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage, the First Lady, and Brigadier General James D. Campbell, Adjutant General of Maine, reached out in a video conference call to nearly 200 deployed Maine Army Guardsmen to share a holiday greeting from home and best wishes for a safe return.
The Soldiers are from the 488th Military Police Company in Afghanistan, the 101st Air Refueling Wing in Afghanistan, the 121st Public Affairs Detachment in Kosovo, and the Charley 1-126th Aviation Company in Kuwait.
The service members on the call, which lasted nearly ten minutes, expressed surprise when Brig. Gen. Campbell introduced the Governor and First Lady to the troops.
“Ann and I have you in our thoughts and prayers, and, if you or your families should need anything at all, we are only a phone call away, we mean that.” The Governor offered to call family members of the Soldiers saying it was the least he could do while they serve far away to protect our freedoms here at home. “We know you have a job to do and we know the mission will be accomplished. However, most important is that you return home safely.”
First Lady Anne M. LePage added, “Your presence is missed by your families and fellow Mainers during Christmas and the holidays, but we are so grateful for your service. You are shining examples of why our nation is great. We wish you Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.”
The 488th Military Police Company from Waterville and Houlton has 100 Soldiers deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan. They deployed in July 2012 and are anticipated to return in May 2013. They provide base security and operate several Entry Control Points on the base. The Commander is Captain Eric Dos Santos, who is also an Augusta Police Department officer.
The 101st Air Refueling Wing has three Maine Airman deployed to Camp Bastion in Hellman Provence, Afghanistan. They provide the military logistical functions assigned to aerial ports, including processing personnel and cargo into and out of the region. They deployed in September and are expected to return in March.
Charley 1-126th Aviation Company from Bangor has 79 Soldiers deployed to Camp Buerhing, Udairi, Kuwait. They deployed in May 2012 and are anticipated to return in January 2013. They provide MEDIVAC to collation partners and civilians throughout the region.
Four members of the 121st Public Affairs Detachment are in Kosovo. The unit, from Augusta, is expected to return in July.
In his message Campbell expressed that "Holidays are a time for reflection and recognition. I want you to know that your fellow Soldiers, Airman, Families, Maine citizens and I stand behind you and are very proud of your service. We recognize the sacrifices you and your Families are making and I can assure you all of us remain resilient, and anxiously await your return. Stay focused, complete your mission and return home safely."
Additional photos of the call are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mearng/sets/72157632300286917/ . On the above photo, Governor Paul R. LePage (right) and First Lady Ann LePage (center), along with Maine's Adjutant General Brig. Gen. James D. Campbell (left) share a personal moment sending holiday greetings to the troops.