GREENBUSH — Air Force Airman Benjamin Polk graduated recently from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
A 1989 graduate of John Baptist Memorial High School, Polk is the son of Peter and Carolyn Polk of Greenbush.
HERMON — Army Pfc. William Baxter graduated recently from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga.
Baxter, a 1998 graduate of Carrabec High School, North Anson, is the son of Debora Melvin of Hermon.
K9s for Warriors graduate
WINTERPORT — After three weeks of training, U.S. Army Sergeant Luke Martin is returning home to Winterport.
Martin and his dog, Justice, are members of the most recent graduating class of K9s For Warriors. The graduation took place Oct. 17, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The graduation exercise honors and celebrates a critical step in recovery for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the rescue dogs who will work as service dogs for the graduating veterans.
“The unfortunate, staggering fact is that every 65 minutes, a veteran returning from combat takes their own life,” said Sandi Capra, director of development, at K9’s For Warriors. “The K9s for Warriors training program not only provides our soldiers with a live-saving gift, but it’s also an opportunity for peer to peer support with other servicemen and women who suffer from similar issues.”
This is the 26th class of military veterans to graduate from the K9s For Warriors program since Ponte Vedra Beach resident Shari Duval opened the nonprofit two years ago. Duval learned first-hand about the struggles facing U.S. military veterans after her son returned home with PTSD after two tours in Iraq.
K9s For Warriors accepts active duty troops or veterans from every branch of the service and from every state in the nation. The program also provides a new beginning for dogs that become the lifelong partners of these veterans. All dogs within the program are rescues from animal shelters or are owner-surrendered directly to K9s For Warriors, then trained to be service dogs. Many of them were scheduled for euthanasia before being adopted for service into the K9s For Warriors Program.
Guard and Reserve employer support
BANGOR — The Maine Committee Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office, announced the selection of John Henry Cashwell III of Bangor as the new chairman for Maine.
Cashwell took an oath of office and was sworn in on Sept. 25 as the new Maine chairman during a formal ceremony in Alexandria, Va. He serves at the pleasure of the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs. The position carries a three-year term and the protocol of a military two-star flag officer.
Cashwell will provide the leadership and vision for a team of more than 50 volunteers across Maine.