FARMINGTON – More than 80 veterans from across the state were honored at a ceremony held Saturday evening, in the packed Farmington Baptist Church.
“This is an opportunity to recognize the real heros that are with us today,” organizer Rep. Thomas Saviello (U – Wilton) told an audience of more than 400.
Certificates commemorating the military service of veterans are part of a state-sponsored “Honoring a Veteran” program. Gold Star, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Honorable Certificates are awarded to veterans and their families. Before handing out the awards with Director of the Bureau of Veterans Services Peter Ogden and Maine National Guard Major Michael Backus, an emotional Saviello thanked the assembled veterans for sacrificing their time, bodies and, in some cases, their lives.
“Thank you for what you’ve done,” Saviello said. “Thank you.”
The veterans present fought in wars spanning more than 50 years; from WW II to the Persian Gulf War. In addition to the state service medals, veterans who earned the Purple Heart were also recognized.
The ceremony ended an afternoon of music, arranged to raise money to help needy families heat their homes this winter. The “Turn Up the Heat!” program ran for two hours and featured a variety of bluegrass and country bands. The money will go toward the Franklin County Ecumenical Heating Fund.
Veterans honored that night include: Russell Austin, Boyd N. Storer, Leslie Dalrymple, Bard Davenport, Andre Dube, Larry Faulkner, David A. Lane, James A. McKechnie, Robert W. Beane, Jerry J. Iannucci, Gerard J. Perry, Clinton B. Blaisdell, Linwood R. Burtchell, John L. Kirby, Lawrence N. Lee, Alden W. Mitchell, Harold A. Roberts, Romeo T. Langelier, Thomas A. Mowat, Lawrence J. Bilodeau, Daniel J. Clair, Andrew Gerrier, Duane C. Norton, Joseph H. Ross Jr., Steven L. Smith, Wheaton A. Holden Jr., Nunzio Biondello, Theone R. Fernald, Lincoln H. Grush, Alton W. Howes, Forrest S. Hutchins, Edmund L. Hutchinson, John H. Knight, Donald J. LeSuer, Thomas Linder, Frank H. Merrill, Richard G. Morton, Lewis S. Parlin, Joseph O. Perry, Eugene H. Ploof, Erlon B. Rose, Milton G. Simmons, Francis R. Therrien, Roland J. Therrien, Donald W. Tucker, Bernard R. Vining, Urban E. West, Robert T. Benoit, Clifford A. Chase Jr., Robert H.B. Cox, Francis W. Fenton, David L. Hutchinson, Warren F. Rollins, Wallace S. Tripp, Charles H. Bennett, Wayne A. Bowles, James R. Burrill, Peter L. Chamberlain, Charles D. Chappell, Wayne E. Dubay, Alton M. Howes, Alexander C. Miller Jr., Byron S. Philbrick Jr., Earl C. Edgerly, Westland J. Taylor, Michael R. Wadsworth, Palmer A. Hebert, Albert I. Niles, Michael P. Savage, Robert P. Boucher, Lawrence M. Curtis, Earl M. Hawkins, Earland W. Masterman, Leon A. Winter Jr., James J. Bouffard, Ronald T. Greco, Ralph E. Chase, David B. Morgan and Ryan D. Morgan.