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Make 12 Hours Count 2019 Recap

By | In the News

Thank you to everyone who supported our Make 12 Hours Count Radio Thon!

We asked- and Maine answered the call to support Maine’s veterans!

In 12 hours on WGAN Radio $63,160 was raised to support Maine’s military families- and donations are still coming in!

The fourth annual Veterans Count Radiothon was hosted on Portland Radio Group’s WGAN Newsradio (AM 560 and FM 105.5) with the added front line support of 101.9 WPOR, Maine’s #1  Country Station as well as but pulling from the promotional power of all the group’s stations.  New this year, the Radio Thon received promotional support from WABI helping to engage supporters from all over the state.

“News Radio WGAN is very proud to help those of who have given so much for us.”  Jeff Pierce, Operations Manager for Portland Radio Group said. “All of our Portland stations supported this effort and the entire team deserves a pat on the back for helping and thanks to Veterans Count for what they do and allowing us to help.”

This event is proudly presented by Bill Dodge Auto Group and hourly sponsors include State Manufactured Homes, North East Delta Dental, Oak Hill Dry Cleaners, Saco River Dentistry, Martin’s Point Healthcare, Beauregard Equipment, Classic Flooring, and Elsmere BBQ and Wood Grill.  The phone bank sponsor is US Cellular.   On April 2- Elsmere BBQ hosted a nonprofit night to celebrate the success of the Radio Thon, announce the fundraising total, and raise additional funds.

There’s still time to help! – to make a donation and support Veterans Count Maine, click here or call 207.828.0754 or text VET to 77000. Checks can be mailed to 125 Presumpscot Street Portland, ME 04103.

 
Thank You to our Hourly Radio Thon Sponsors 

 

 

Check out our pictures and podcasts from the event in the links below:

Pics:

 

https://wgan.com/2019/04/04/veterans-count-2019/

 

Podcasts:

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-stacy-dodge/

 

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-shawn-moody/

 

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-matt-dunlap/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-senator-king/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-beauregard-equipment/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-senator-susan-collins/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-north-east-delta-dental/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-tom-raffio/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/categories/ken-matt-podcasts/page/5/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-908am-martins-point-health-care/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-945am/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-rep-chellie-pingree/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-classic-flooring-interview/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-governor-janet-mills/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-john-baldacci/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-rachel-and-rebecca/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-elsemere-barbecue/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-bruce-poliquin/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-nancy-lee-and-bob-kelly/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-bruce-poliquin-segment-2/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-conrad-letellier/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-conrad-letellier-segment-2/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-saco-river-dentistry/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-jared-golden/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-howie-carr/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-sue-durst-segment-1/

 

https://wgan.com/morning-news/4th-annual-veterans-count-radiothon-sue-durst-segment-2/

Holidays Overseas- A Veteran’s Perspective

By | In the News
Dear Friends,
Let’s face it, the holidays are busy and stressful. Over the next few weeks, we’ll all balance Christmas lists, holiday parties, along with our daily routines. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays let’s not forget that over 170,000 U.S. Service Members will spend the holidays away from the ones they love.

 

I talk to people about my experiences overseas people often focus on the holidays; how hard it must have been to miss a Christmas or two (or more). The truth is, as a Veteran some of my favorite holiday memories occurred while I was away. Thanksgiving 2006, I was in a small firebase in a remote part of Afghanistan and weather delayed the delivery of our “hot” meal and so the Afghan governor invited us into his home and prepared a hot meal for us, much like the Native Americans did for the early settlers. Christmas of the same year we gathered for an omni-denominational mass in our plywood chapel, we sang about peace while carrying the instruments of war. We rang in the lunar new year by sharing a meal with our Afghan Army partners complete with traditional music and dancing.

 

All of us who serve have two families, those at home, and those with whom we serve. When either need us we do not hesitate. Holidays overseas are just holidays with our other family. Probably not the preferred venue, but I certainly wouldn’t trade that time with my military family for anything. When we leave the Military, it can feel like we are leaving that family, we lose a part of ourselves – and it can be confusing, and lonely. I am very thankful for the fact that our Care Coodinators at Easterseals Maine are able to become part of that family for Veterans in out community, helping to ease the transition to civilian life.

 

We can’t do this without you. Veterans Count was founded to support the families of our deployed service members. The program has evolved to meet the needs of our Veterans, Service Members, and their families. Please go to www.vetscount.org/maine to learn how you can support our life saving programs. I wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season.

 

Joe Reagan
Senior Director of Development
Easterseals Maine

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By | In the News
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Making it Matter

By | In the News

Dear Friends,

 

September is Suicide Prevention month. It commonly quoted that 20 Veterans take their life each day. Right now, somewhere there is a Veteran – probably several – who are contemplating suicide. In the next week, over 140 Veterans will die by their own hand. It’s a rate 22% higher than non-Veterans, according to the VA. Statistics also tell us that out of this 140:

  • 98 will have neither sought nor received treatment from the VA
  • 91 will be over the age of 50
  • 1 will be a woman- and while that may seem small, female Veterans take their own life at a rate 240% higher than their civilian counterparts.
  • 1 will be a Mainer.

 

It cannot be stated enough that if you are or you know a Veteran who is in crisis, immediately call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or go to VeteransCrisisLine.net.  Trust your gut, if you believe that something is or could be wrong, make the call.

 

Easterseals is not a suicide prevention agency. But since our inception, our care coordinators have intervened in 113 instances where a Veteran was determined to be at high risk of suicide. The tragedy of suicide is not just the loss of life – it is the loss of potential. It is the loss of what these Veterans could have brought to our community and each day we strive to ensure the resources are in place to save number 114.

 

Even in a Veteran-friendly state like Maine, Veterans in our community still face issues like homelessness, unemployment, and mental disabilites at rates much higher than their civilian peers. General Martin Dempsey said the our service members “do what they do because they sense that they should give something back because of the opportunities that they enjoy in this country.” In my observation, this same commitment to excellence and dedication to mission continues when our service members return home as Veterans. It is when our Veterans lose sight of their purpose where things go awry – and that’s where Easterseals steps in. Our Veterans and their families have given so much, it is up to us as Americans to ensure their sacrifices matter by investing in their future.

 

The issues facing our Veterans are increasingly complex, but at Easterseals we believe that together, we can work to seek a society in which every Veteran is included and valued for who they are, for what they have given, and most importantly-what they have left to give. Please provide critical support for our life-saving programs at Veterans Count Maine and Easterseals.

 

Joe Reagan

Senior Director of Development

Easterseals Maine

The Dog Days of Summer

By | In the News

Dear Friends,

 

With the 4th of July behind us, each day becomes a little shorter, each night a little cooler and each passing week is a reminder that summer is almost gone. We don’t always equate August with Patriotisim as we’re more focused on back to school shopping or finishing that great summer reading list that we never started, but August holds two very important dates in our nation’s history.

 

On August 4th, the U.S. Coast Guard will celebrate its’ 228th birthday.  Here in Maine, the U.S. Coast Guard has been safeguarding our maritime interests and protecting our mariniers since 1790. The smallest of the five military branches, since its inception the USCG has aided in major military operations including World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Coast Guard is truly unique in its mission. It is a critical component that is not only dedicated to the safety of life here at home, but also to the success of our national security strategy. Next time you see that cutter out on Casco Bay remember to give’em a wave and thank them for their service.

 

On August 7th, the nation will commemorate the creation of the Purple Heart Medal. Created by General Washington in 1782, it was initially called the Badge of Military Merit. Only a handful of these were awarded, and following the American Revolution. In 1932, to honor the bicentennial of General Washington’s birth, the Purple Heart was created and bestowed upon soldiers who had been wounded during the first World War.

 

My Great-Grandfather, Ralph, was one of the original recipients of the Purple Heart after he was wounded twice during his service in the First World War. His name is engraved on the back of the award and it sits prominently on my desk at home. One story from our family lore is when one of Ralph’s children asked him about the large scar on his shoulder, he responded, “I zigged when I should have zagged.”  This was typical of the dry wit and humility that many of our Veterans embrace.

 

While the summer is winding down, I hope that you find time to pause in recognition of the service and sacrifice of our Veterans. Please go to www.vetscount.org/maine to learn how you can help us Easterseals provide critical support to Veterans in our community.

 

Joe Reagan

Senior Director of Development

Easterseals Maine

Independence Day Letter

By | In the News

Dear Friends,

Happy Independence Day! This July 4th, as we celebrate our great country and all that makes us proud to be Americans it is important to reflect on our nation’s history and those who have been called upon to preserve our independence.

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress unanimously adopted a declaration announcing that the 13 colonies would regard themselves as sovereign states. John Adams said of the occasion that “it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more”. And so for the last 241 years we have honored Adams’ vision and have come together on the anniversary of our independence to celebrate the American dream.

Near the conclusion of the Civil War during his second inaugural address, President Lincoln affirmed our moral obligation as a nation to ensure that those who served us in uniform. His words, “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan” became the motto for the Veterans Administration and they should be a call to action for all of us.

Maine has one of the highest per-capita populations of Veterans in the country – so each of us has a deeply personal connection to the men and women who serve our country. Our service members and Veterans defended our freedom. When they return home, it is our duty as grateful citizens to care for them. With help from our generous donors, Easterseals Maine and Veterans Count have provided care to almost 1,500 Veterans across the state of Maine.

Please visit www.vetscount.org/maine to learn how you can help support a Veteran in need. Happy Independence Day!

Joe Reagan
Senior Director of Development
Easterseals Maine

The Birthday of the U.S. Army

By | In the News

Dear Friends,

 

243 years ago today, June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress, at the urging of John Adams from Massachusetts (which at the time was part of Maine), allocated 2 million dollars to form 10 companies of riflemen from across the colonies to support militias that were already engaged with British forces around Boston and New York. This day has been recognized as the founding of the U.S. Army. General Washington took command of our Army the following day, with orders from Congress to “take charge of the Army of the United Colonies.” On that day, nearly 15,000 men became the first in a long line of patriots to call themselves American Soldiers.

 

Today our Army is over a million strong with men and women from across the country serving in locations across the globe. They perform missions that are as diverse as the background of the men and women who perform them. When they return home they suffer issues that are increasingly complex, PTSD, tramatic brain injuries, homelessness, and suicide are just some of the issues facing Veterans across our contry and here in Maine.

 

In his farewell orders to the Continental Army, General Washington told his troops to “carry with them into civil society the most conciliating dispositions” and to “prove themselves not less virtuous and useful citizens than they have been persevering and victorious as soldiers.” At Easterseals and Veterans Count we believe that together, we can work to seek a society in which every Veteran is included and valued for who they are, for what they have given, and most importantly what they have left to give.

 

We know that every Veteran is capable of leading a successful life. Some need a hand-up to get there and we can’t do it without your support- with every success story, there are two more Veterans walking in the door.  As our successes grow, so does our need. These are hard problems, but they are solvable problems.

 

Please vist www.vetscount.org/maine to learn how you can be part of the solution.

 

Happy 243rd Birthday to the U.S. Army- “This We’ll Defend!”

Joe Reagan

Senior Director of Development

Easterseals Maine

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