Troop Greeters Celebrate 7th Anniversary 

The Maine troop greeters celebrated their 7th anniversary this afternoon with an open house at the Bangor International Airport.Over the past 7 years many people have passed throught the airport in Bangor and seen the troop greeters room from the outside. At their 2nd annual open house people were encouraged to look around at the history they keep inside this little room. Tom Kohl is the Chairman of the Board of the group. “I want people to know more about what’s in this room,” says Kohl, “the challenger coins, the unit patches, the certificates that have been given to us. we’ve got tremendous memorabilia in here from the military and we’d like to share it with the community at large.”The open house is a chance to showcase all of the services they provide here. Services like free cell phones for the troops to call anywhere they want for as long as they want. Or the therapy dogs that are on hand. Ann Williams travels four hours round trip from Jonesport with her 3-year-old Irish Wolfhound Sisero. It’s a commute that she says is well worth it. “Oh everybody loves it,” says Williams, “most of them have either left their dogs at home, which is their best friend, or they’re coming home and they can’t wait to see their dog.” The folks here say that after one look around this place most people can’t wait to get involved. Joe Savoy was at the airport on Sunday to greet a group of troops returning from Afghanistan. “A lot of times we have people here to just greet a family member that’s taken a regular flight and while they’re sitting here a troop flight will come in and they’ll come on and get in line and they’ll start clapping and after that that’s all it takes,” says Savoy, “one shot and you’re addicted.”For the troops who benefit from these services they say they can’t thank the Maine troop greeters enough for everything they do.U.S. Army Sgt. Rob Mcalpin passed through Bangor on his way home to Colorado Springs. “It was amazing to see the pride from generations past from the veterans that have served before me,” he said, “you know if it wasn’t for tehm we could not do our job today because they’ve lead the way and it’s just awesome to have them come out here and greet us. I wish we could have returned the favor to them back in the day.”The troop greeters say they’ve now made the room in the airport into a mini museum and they want people to be able to enjoy it long after the last soldier has passed through here on his way home. “This is a national treasure that the city of Bangor needs to enjoy over many years,” says Kohl.