Ladies and gentlemen,
Yesterday I saw in the news a story about an Army Colonel by the name of Gregory S. Townsend. He was 46 years old and the commander of the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade at Fort Lee Army Base in Virginia. Col Townsend died on April 18 while aiding a stranded motorist.
The news was very sad for me, as is the news of the death of any of our active duty in service to our country.
Col Townsend was driving on a Virginia highway when he saw a stranded motorist with a flat tire. Having the heart of a servant, he stopped to help and changed the tire. Something went wrong as he was finishing the tire change and the car fell on him. He was taken by Life Flight to Virginia Commonwealth University where he fought for his life for three days, succumbing to his injuries on the fourth day.
Today, I got a Facebook post from a friend of 60 years who is a Professor of Economics at Auburn University who shared a news clip about Col Townsend’s demise. He was sharing the post because he knew Greg Townsend as a boy and Greg’s mother is a coworker at Auburn. With this post his death became personal and made his loss even more sad for me. Greg was an only son, and he leaves behind a wife and four children, ages 18, 16, 12, and 6.
Why did I choose this as a topic for my President’s message, besides the fact that he is a fellow Officer?
The answer lies in our motto: “Never Stop Serving.” Greg was not on duty, he didn’t have to stop, but he chose to do so because of having a servants’ heart. It wasn’t a burden; it was the right thing to do.
I see the same thing with our membership. I especially see servants’ hearts among all that serve and have served on our Board of Directors and as Chapter Officers. I wish I had the space to write about everyone but don’t, so I won’t write about anyone. I will say this about everyone that is serving now: They are doing it because it is the right thing to do.
For those reading this that have not served on the Board, please consider doing so. There is plenty to do and your contributions will be greatly appreciated. Also, for those MOAA members in the Southern Maine Chapter catchment area who are reading our newsletter for the first time and are not chapter members, please consider joining. There are many ways to serve that will benefit many.
Remember: “Never Stop Serving.”
CDR, USN (Ret.)
ROTC/JROTC Program Update
By the time members receive this edition, the school year for both JROTC and Senior ROTC for Maine schools will have ended. We ran a detailed listing of all the school units, points of contact, and graduation dates with phone numbers in the last newsletter. As a brief recap, we support eight Junior Programs with National MOAA certificates, signed by our Chapter President, and ROTC medals that the cadets may wear on their dress uniforms. The school cadre award the certificates based on school criteria and present the awards at their annual awards dinner, which vary according to individual school schedules. In addition, our Chapter awards a handsome solid brass compass to these deserving cadets.
For the top award winners for the three Senior Programs at the University of Maine (Army and Navy ROTC) and the Maine maritime Academy (Navy ROTC) we also send MOAA certificates, medals, and compasses. In addition, our Chapter provides a $500 scholarship to the top graduates: one for the Army Program and one each for the two Navy Programs (total of $1,500) each year. These awards and scholarships are made possible through the generous donations made by our own Chapter Members each year and from the proceeds of the Annual Military Scholarship Golf Tournament (“Mr. T” Memorial), held in August 2018, the last in a long series. We sincerely thank you all for your support this year and in all the previous years you have been giving. Photos from this year’s winners are included on the following pages. (COL Frank Toderico, ROTC Chair)
2019 Senior ROTC Award Winners
The Southern Maine Chapter, MOAA, is proud to present the winners of the 2019
Senior ROTC Awards. The first recipient is Cadet Ryan Gervais. He is the son of Robbie and William Gervais of Griswold, CT. Ryan is a Military Service III Cadet studying Wildlife Ecology. He is an active participant in the Army ROTC program at the University of Maine. He has competed in the Ranger Challenge, the Army/Navy football game, the Zimmerman Challenge and has maintained a 2.8 grade point average. Cadet Gervais is a conscientious, positive role model for all the Cadets involved in the UMaine Army ROTC program.
June Speaker, Mr. Lee Humiston
If you’re looking for an excellent excuse to venture out and enjoy Spring in the glorious state of Maine, we can think of no better excursion than to join your Chapter members at the lovely Woodlands Club for our June breakfast buffet on Saturday, June 8th. The reservation form, as usual, can be found on page 7 of this edition.
Our featured speaker this quarter is Mr. Lee Humiston, museum founder, director, and curator of the Maine Military Museum. Born and raised in South Portland, Maine, Mr. Humiston joined the United States Air Force in 1956 and left for what would turn out to be fifty years. Returning home for a visit several years ago, he met Maureen, the woman who would become his wife, and chose to remain.
Through his lifelong love for the United States military and his general interest in history, Mr. Humiston has amassed one of the largest collections of prisoner of war (POW) artifacts and related items in the world. He has experience building exhibits, having helped create an exhibit celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Homecoming for the Nixon Library, two exhibitions at the Smithsonian Museum, and the museum in the Hindenburg hangar at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lakehurst, New Jersey. Mr. Humiston built the Maine Military Museum and Learning Center to honor Maine’s men and women who have served the state and the nation over the past 300 years.
His military collection continues to grow as his reputation as a collector has spread. Visiting his museum is a unique experience and changes constantly. Your Chapter’s Board of Directors has enjoyed meeting monthly at the museum for many years.
Please join us on Saturday, June 8th and get to know Lee better. See you at the Woodlands!
Click here for Reservations Form
The Chapter would like to extend a belated Welcome Aboard to:
COL Arthur Wickham, USA, from Windham, ME. (Art took the time to attend one of our recent Board of Directors meetings and we are looking forward to his active participation in our Chapter’s affairs.)
CW4 Alan Sabaka, USA, and his wife Kim McGraw, from Bridgton, ME.
In conjunction with our March Newsletter, we included a form for our annual dues. For members that get an electronic copy of the newsletter, we included a link to the form in the article about the drive. The Board of Directors has been reaching out to members that have not submitted their payment. Members that get an electronic copy received a reminder via email. Even if you no longer have the form, you can send in your payment of $20.00 to:
Southern Maine Chapter MOAA
PO Box 2145
South Portland, ME 04116-2145
Thank you for your continuing support.
(Col Rob McAleer, Membership Chair)
2019 Senior ROTC Award Winners (Cont)
The second recipient is Midshipman 2/C Richard L. Wyman, III, Maine Maritime Academy. Richard is enrolled in the Civil Engineering Class of 2020. His grade point average is 3.158 within his major. He has served as the public affairs officer, operations officer, battalion executive officer and MIDN OIC for the Ropes Course event in the fall of 2017. He is active in sports, especially baseball.
(Note: Because of an unresolved technical issue, currently unable to display a picture of Midshipman Wyman.)
The third recipient is Midshipman 2/C James Trentham, Maine Maritime Academy. Richard is also enrolled in the Civil Engineering Class of 2020. His grade point average is 3.45 within his major (Dean’s list). He has served as the Captain/Skipper for Varsity Offshore Sailing Team, taken numerous USCG certification courses in navigation, firefighting and sailing. He has served as the division officer for the Maine Maritime Academy Navy ROTC unit. He is also an Eagle Scout.