Maine Troop Greeters Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary on Armed Forces Day 

This weekend was all about honoring our service men and women.It was Armed Forces Day and the 10 year Anniversary of the Maine Troop Greeters.The day was about offering thanks to the armed forces at the Bangor International Airport, where the Maine Troop Greeters have been welcoming service members since 2003.Community Relations Chair for the Maine Troop Greeters Cheryl Lare said “Not only are we celebrating Armed Forces Day for the 5th year in a row, it is our 10th Anniversary as troop greeters, so we’re doing double duty.”Todays celebration included guest speakers First Lady Ann LePage and Brian Gilda with the U.S Coast Guard. Both expressed gratitude for the troop greeters…”To do what they’ve done for our service members across the U.S is just amazing,” said Maine’s First Lady Ann LePage.Captain with the U.S Coast Guard Brian Gilda said, “What they’re doing here really strikes with me because when you come back to the U.S it’s it’s great to be back on U.S soil. It’s hard to describe it when you’ve been out of the country. It’s great to be back, so I really connect with this group and what they’re doing.”One soldier returning home also got a surprise greeting at the event.Private William Delaittre with the U.S Army was just returning home when he came across the event.”I came in just expecting to get off the plane, get in the car and go home then I saw all these people. It’s nice to know they really care about you back home because sometimes it’s lost in translation how much you’re appreciated. Then you come home and see people like this and it really warms your heart.”Organizers emphasized the importance of honoring not only active troops on Armed Forces Day, but veterans as well..Lare said, “I think a lot of them, especially the ones who are vets here, they went though it and they didn’t get a welcome home. So the thank you and a hand shake really goes a long way for the troops.”The greeters say the real celebration will be when all the troops return home.Clayton Dodge, a Maine State Trooper Greeter for the past 10 years said, “Our happiest day will be the day when we’re forced to close because we’re not sending any more troops overseas. That’s the day we look forward to.”