July 26, 2021

Governor Mills Announces 2021 Aides-de-Camp Nominees

Augusta, Maine (July 26, 2021) - Governor Janet Mills announced today her 2021 selections for the Aides-de-Camp program, an advisory council of military veterans who advise the Governor on policies impacting Maine veterans. The eleven veterans selected to serve are:

MAJ David Hassen, Augusta

SGT Jessica Brennan, Farmington

CSM Gretchen Evans, Brunswick

COL Lori Sussman, Windham

MAJ Brenda Pennels, Scarborough

SFC Jerry DeWitt, New Gloucester

LT Scott Hansen, Yarmouth

PO3 James Bachelder, Acton

SGT Craig Florey, Kenduskeag

CPL Gary Bies, Lincoln

LT Whitney McKay, Eliot

"I am honored to welcome these veterans to our Aides-de-Camp program. Their history of service to their communities, our state, and our country are to be commended and their vast and diverse experiences will help us address those issues that most affect our veterans," said Governor Janet Mills. Maine has a long-standing tradition of military service, and this program is an extension of that service. I thank these veterans for bringing their experiences and talents to the table for discussion, problem solving and strategic planning to strengthen Maine's unwavering commitment to its veterans and their families.

The Bureau of Veterans Services reviewed more than 50 applications and the nominees were selected based on criteria focused on diversity of experience to ensure that the eleven Aides are representative of the veterans population in Maine.

The Governor has identified the following issues for the Aides to focus attention on: Quality health, dental, and mental health care (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Sexual Trauma, and Substance Abuse Disorder); homelessness and food insecurity; connection to State and Federal benefits; ensuring access to services for Maines tribal veterans and veterans living in rural areas; LGBTQ veterans; access to alternative therapies and adaptive sports; and support for veterans court participants, suicide prevention, and aging in place.

Honorably discharged officers or enlisted personnel who served in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard or Marine Corps and who are not members of the state military forces may be appointed as Aides-de-Camp. These individuals will be expected to meet with the Governor and/or her staff periodically to discuss issues pertaining to Maine veterans and to serve as a liaison between the Governor and the veteran service organization they represent. The Governor and Maj. Gen. Douglas Farnham, Commissioner of the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management have also invited other members of the Governors Cabinet who are veterans to join the program, including Commissioner of Corrections, Randy Liberty, and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, Mike Sauschuck.