Knowing we have no real world skills, a couple of years ago, we asked if there was something we (cops) could do to help out at the Travis Mills Foundation Veteran’s Retreat in Rome, Maine.
Our schedules are erratic at best, so we inquired about a chore or two which would not be needed during our BTOTY (busiest time of the year).
This is also known as our *summer* when overtime for outdoor concerts abounds, and cop vacations need to be covered by all of our other cops.
Brandy Mills-Cain, in all her glory, put me in touch with Chris.
Chris is the keeper of the grounds. He is sort of like the Bill Murray in Caddyshack except that Chris is more of the quiet and heroic type.
While we all have the continued blessing of using all our limbs, Chris just does more work with fewer limbs. We are humbled by his work ethic and warrior spirit. And he doesn’t make fun of us- which is cool.
We also get to pat his service dog, Gabby.
It was determined that we would take responsibility for putting one of the docks into the lake during spring, and take them out in the fall when programming slows down at the facility.
It should be noted that the water is colder during these times and no one else was volunteering for this wonderful opportunity.
While vacationers see some great photos in all of our pleasantly printed tourist guides, none of the pictures of kids and adults frolicking in clean Maine lakes are taken during the installation or during removal of docks.
Thus, the obvious reason why no one has blue lips in the tourist photos.
Our crew went down on a rainy, 43 degree, Friday and did the chore.
Officer Justin Carter did mess up his hair when he was forced to dive for a lost wrench that Officer Chris Blanchard let “slip” from his hand. Carter’s hair miraculously was returned to its former state of glory once he broke out his “My Pretty Pony” mobile hair care kit. We have offered to pay for the electricity he used while using his SGHDC (Salon-Grade Hair Drying Chair).
Seen in the obligatory photo with Chris and Gabby are (from left to right) Officer Shane Smith, Officer Justin Carter in a dry, more than likely borrowed, sweatshirt, Officer Tyler Johnston, Officer Lucas Libby, Officer Chris Blanchard, Officer Jordan Perry, and Chris and Gabby.
Shout out to Dogs For Our Brave, Inc. for supplying injured vets with wonderful service animals like Gabby. The dogs are rescues as well, so there is confusion on some days on whether Chris helps Gabby, or Gabby helps Chris.
Since Gabby cannot currently operate the pick-up truck she probably is a few points behind Chris in the score of the ongoing debate; Gabby does love to ride.
My personal thanks to Officer Jordan Perry for taking charge of this bi-annual event. Little does anyone know that Perry goes just so he can drive the facility golf-carts. It’s a really big deal to him.
He wants to move to The Villages when he retires in 2049.
Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another.
We will be here.
BPD Duck of Justice is published occasionally in BDN Maine Weekly on Thursdays. This installment is for May 16.