Monday, December 17, 2012

Veteran Makes Christmas Merry for Soldiers

Christmas Across the State***
I wrote this piece two years ago, but it as timely today, if not more so, as it was then. 

I have mentioned that when it comes to serving in or showing support of the United States Military, Mainers are second to none. Literally. Per capita, Maine has the highest percentage of active and retired veterans of all fifty states in the Union. I know that to be true because I have substantiated it before, I just can't remember where. So you gotta trust me on this one. Most of the people I know in Maine are members of Heather's family and off the top of my head, I can name seven men that have served or are serving as I type this, and that's just a small part of her family. I know that's a bit anecdotal, but it also is representative of the larger group,the total population of the state.

Your average enlisted man/woman in the military is not exactly raking in the dough. Sure, they get some good benefits, but many of our bravest also have families to take care of. In a trying economy, like we are currently experiencing, it's all the more difficult to make ends meet for service members.

There is an organization here in Augusta that is a beacon of hope for military personnel during the Christmas season. I discovered an article in the Lewiston-Auburn area newspaper the Sun Journal that tells the story of Christmas Across the State and the man behind it, Kerry Birmingham, himself a Viet Nam Vet.

"We've been doing this for well over a decade," said Birmingham, who oversees a Maine National Guard program that grants Christmas wishes for needy military families. "We've never seen so many."
Last year, "Christmas Across the State" helped about 60 military families with presents, he said. This year, the number of requests could reach 80.
Daniel Hartill, a Staff Writer for the Sun Journal, gets the props for a job well done for bringing Christmas Across the State to the attention of the masses. Read the entire article on the Sun Journal web site.

Isn't that article a perfect example of selflessness, patriotism and a damn fine man? Daniel, again I thank you for your work in bringing this to the fore, and to Mr.Birmingham, I salute you, Sir, for your service to our country and for your continuing efforts to make sure our Bravest and Finest young people are looked after during the Christmas Holiday. God bless you and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

I'm sure that there is an organization similar to "Christmas Across the State" where you live, so please consider lending them your support. Thanks.

Merry Christmas!
***Photo shamelessly swiped from the Sun Journal ***

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