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Governor LePage and First Lady Honor Returning Maine Soldiers at Freedom Salute Ceremony

For Immediate Release: Sunday, Oct. 6
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
Major Michael Steinbuchel, Maine National Guard, 207-430-5759

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage attended a freedom salute ceremony Sunday to honor soldiers of 488th Military Police Company and the121st Public Affairs Detachment. The unit recently returned from Afghanistan in June. Freedom Salutes are designed to publically recognize the sacrifice of soldiers, families, employers and friends that have supported them throughout the deployment.

During the ceremony the soldiers were reminded of the rich heritage of the Maine National Guard, the appreciation of their state for their service, and the selfless sacrifice an entire family makes when a soldier is deployed.

“We owe our men and women in uniform and their families a debt of gratitude for all that they do for our State and Nation,” said First Lady Ann LePage. “Our service members and their families have made tremendous sacrifices. Maine has a very rich military heritage, and it is important that we honor these courageous men and women,” she said.

"This morning we are here to recognize the remarkable accomplishments of two deployments as well as the sacrifice of those who have supported you at home," Governor LePage said. "Despite the current gridlock in Washington nothing can diminish your accomplishments. I am proud of you and the people of Maine are proud of you. Thank you for your service.”

The 488th Military Police Company, from Waterville, Maine, deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 2012 to 2013. They returned in June 2013 after serving 9 months in Afghanistan. Their primary mission was Entry Control Point (ECP) operations at Bagram Airfield. Additionally, they had a secondary mission as part of an "internal" quick reaction force.

Four members of 121st Public Affairs Detachment, from Augusta, Maine, deployed to Kosovo as part of the U.N. Peacekeeping mission called Kosovo Force in July 2012. While there, they were the Public Affairs element for Multi-National Battle Group East. The unit covered major historic operations and created more than 140 news stories for KFOR, the soldiers and their multi-national partners. The 121st returned from deployment in June 2013.

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