The Eagle Cane Project 

Joy Hollowell

A group in Central Maine is carving out a special place in the hearts of veterans.Joy Hollowell tells us about Capital Carver’s Eagle Cane Project.===========It started out as a favor…”Somebody said, you want to make a couple of canes? I said sounds like a good idea.”Two years later, George Gunning is still making canes, 526 to be exact.”Once you get involved with the veterans, you’re not going to quit,” says Gunning.The Windsor woodcarver and his group, Capital Carvers, are part of a national program called The Eagle Cane Project. Gunning says his guidelines are pretty simple.”If a veteran wants a cane, he gets a cane, that’s it,” Gunning says.Each cane is personalized with the veteran’s branch of service, their name and decals for awards.”And every cane has an American flag on it, and where we have no restrictions, this happens to be Canadian,” Gunning points out.And most importantly, every cane is free. Gunning says donations help keep the project going, and all of them come from veterans themselves.”Once you give a veteran a cane, you get a personal bond with them,” says Gunning.George Mathis is the state commander of the Disabled American Veterans. He’s also the proud owner of an eagle cane.”For his appreciation, and he’s so passionate about it. Every time someone asks me about it, I get teary eyed because of what it represents,” says Mathis.”When you hand a veteran a cane, that’s all the pay you need,” says Gunning. “That’s it, I think.”========Again, any veteran is eligible to receive the free eagle cane from the Capital Carvers group.Gunning advises folks to contact Togus for more information.