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Maine women veterans honored in ceremony

5:51 PM, Jun 6, 2011   |    comments
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  • Maine women veterans honored at special silver coin ceremony.
  • Drawing of silver coin awarded to Maine's women veterans.
    
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  • Maine Bureau of Veteran's Services Women Veterans Website
  • SCARBOROUGH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Forty-two women veterans, who served their country during conflicts from WWII to the present day Global War on Terror, were honored in a special ceremony at the Maine Veteran's Home.

    "It is kind of a man's world," explained Julie Caswell, a 25 year member of the Maine Air National Guard, who has just recently reenlisted, "but it is slowly changing.  For so long, women veterans were never given credit."

    "A lot of these women, especially the older ones, have never had any ceremonies like this," she added.  "You know, they were just kind of off in a corner."

    On Monday, a grateful state and nation gave the women their long overdue thanks, and presented each one with a special silver coin depicting the changing role women have played defending our country.

    "It was wonderful and it brought back all the memories and the good times and the bad times, everything, it brought it all back," stated Lucille Fecteau, an Army veteran who served during WWII.   "I was there and I served, and I did everything that I could to help."

    "I am so happy to be here," said Cecilia Berwick,  who joined the Marines the day after she graduated from high school in Farmington.  "Tell the people that I did the best I can to help them."

    In February, the state dedicated a plaque to honor the service of Maine's women veterans.  The silver coins awarded for the women's service bears a similar image to that plaque, which hangs in the Hall of Flags in the state capital.

    The Maine Bureau of Veteran's Services estimates there are 10,000 women veterans living in Maine, and as many as another 10,000 who served and have since moved away or passed on.  They are working on honoring all women from Maine who served their nation and were honorably discharged.

    In addition to honoring the women, the ceremony also served as a call for women who served to be aware of the benefits and services that are eligible to them, services they earned, but often are not claimed.  Women veterans are invited to contact the Maine Bureau of Veteran's Services at 207-430-6035 to get more information.

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