World War II Veteran Honored 

Robert Hunnewell’s wife knew he had served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. What she didn’t know was how many medals he had earned while doing so. “She started going through some of his stuff,” says Michelle Michaud, an assistant to Senator Susan Collins, “and found his discharge papers that had listed some medals he had earned during World War II and she had never seen them, didn’t know they existed.”Mrs. Hunnewell’s family contacted Senator Collin’s office to find out about the medals. Senator Collins, the daughter of a World War II veteran, took an interest in the Hunnewell’s plight. After looking into the matter, Senator Collins discovered he had earned more medals than originally thought.The Senator contacted the Department of the Navy and tuesday, more than 60 years later, Hunnewell was honored for his service to his country, which delighted Captain Will Fitzgerald, a fellow Navy man. “Certainly the Maine delegation has always been supportive of the military,” says Captain Fitzgerald, “and the fact that they were able to intervene and get replacement medals and have us come and present them today, I think says a lot about just the whole Maine climate and the value they put on veterans of all wars.” Hunnewell’s daughter, Essie Mae, looked on as her father received some long overdue recognition. “They should be recognized before they reach their elder years,” says Mae, “so I would urge our country to seek out those veterans and honor them now before it’s too late.”Among the guests in attendance were several current members of the military, just there to say thank you. “It’s important to honor our veterans,” says Captain Fitzgerald, “especially the world war II veterans because they truly are our greatest generation and what they did and the sacrifices they made allow me to do what I do today and I really appreciate that.”