LePage urges veterans to “stand up and be counted”


AUGUSTA – As part of his administration’s ongoing effort to thank and assist Maine’s service members, veterans and their families, Gov. Paul LePage has proclaimed Saturday, Feb. 25, as “Maine Veterans Stand Up and Be Counted Day.”

The designation seeks to highlight the low number of veterans who apply for educational and other benefits they may be entitled to receive.

“Maine is proud that 140,000 veterans call this State home,” the governor said in a statement. “They served us well and many sacrificed a great deal to protect our country.  Too few, however, apply for veteran’s benefits from the state and federal government.”

It is estimated that only 30 percent of retired military personnel have applied for the veteran’s benefits provided by the State and Federal governments.  In the case of Maine’s roughly 10,000 women who have served, the numbers are more discouraging — with just 10 percent having applied. With regard to State and Federal educational benefits available to Maine veterans, it is estimated that only 2 percent have applied.

In announcing “Maine Veterans Stand Up and Be Counted Day”, the governor encouraged all Maine residents to assist the veterans in their families and communities by reminding them that educational benefits and other assistance may be available.

Veterans and their family members may contact Maine’s Bureau of Veterans’ Services to learn more.  Information is available atwww.maine.gov/dvem/bvs, by e-mail to mainebvs@maine.gov or by calling 430-6035.

Saturday’s observance concludes a week in which the governor welcomed home approximately 130 Service Members from the Marine Corps Forces Reserve who were returning from a 10-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.