American Legion auxiliary president tours Maine

Posted March 09, 2009, at 8:01 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The national president of the American Legion Auxiliary flew from one side of the country to the other Sunday, landing at Bangor International Airport late Monday morning.

Desiree Stoy, in the middle of her term as head of the venerable community organization that provides support to veterans and their families, was admittedly spent.

“As president and ambassador of this organization, I make it a point to travel to each state for an official visit,” Stoy said Monday from the airport about 24 hours removed from her previous stop in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Stoy has a busy schedule during her brief stay in Maine. She planned to meet Tuesday with officials at the Togus VA Medical Center in Augusta and tour the nearly 150-year-old facility, one of the oldest veterans hospitals in the country. A banquet will be held Tuesday evening in her honor.

Stoy plans to spend time with the Maine Troop Greeters at BIA, about whom she said she has heard wonderful things.

“Of course, I get to see a lot when I travel the country, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like what you have here in Bangor,” she said of the tireless nonprofit group that meets every troop flight that lands at BIA.

Stoy was supposed to greet troops Monday, but her flight didn’t come in on time. She plans to reconnect with the troop greeters on Wednesday.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “It’s such a wonderful thing that they do.”

The American Legion Auxiliary national headquarters is in Indianapolis, Ind. The organization, which has more than 9,000 local group members across the country, facilitates a number of service programs for veterans and family members.

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