AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul R. LePage presented World War II veterans Arnold Leavitt of Augusta and Estol “Mac” McClintock of Wellington with the Outstanding Veteran of the Year Awards. These certificates are given in appreciation to the veteran who shows leadership and support and consistently goes above and beyond for fellow veterans.
“Mr. Leavitt and Mr. McClintock are part of Maine’s proud and long-standing tradition of service to our state and country. It is an honor to present the Outstanding Veteran of the Year award to both men,” said Gov. LePage at the presentation held Thursday during the quarterly Commanders Call meeting with representatives from Maine veteran’s service organizations.
“We have the largest number of veterans per capita in the nation and we owe our heartfelt gratitude to our troops who defend our freedom and sacrifice time with their family, friends and communities to serve,” LePage added, according to a press release.
In light of the recent focus and impassioned debate on LD 1503 “An Act To Ensure Student Access to Postsecondary Military Options,” Gov. LePage during the meeting expressed his disappointment of some Democrats who blocked the bill from moving forward. “As I prepare to go to Gettysburg, I am disgusted by some of the Democrats blatant rejection of this bill. It sends a message to all military service members – past and present – that they are not welcome in Maine’s public school system,” he said.
Twenty Democrats on Tuesday flipped their votes on LD 1503, a bill that would have allowed military recruiters the same access to Maine public schools as civilian career recruiters and would have further allowed them to wear their uniforms while visiting schools. View the roll-call here.
“Military service is not for everyone and this bill did nothing to force students into serving. It simply forbade school administrators from refusing recruiters in uniform to visit with students interested in exploring life’s options,” Gov. LePage added.
Maine Veterans Services hosts the Commanders Call meeting with the Governor quarterly.