Maine Greeters regard
milestone with mixed feelings
BANGOR, Maine — Waving flags, cheering and shaking hands, the Maine Troop Greeters at Bangor International Airport hailed the 1 millionth service member to disembark at the airport shortly before 1 a.m., Monday.
The flight carrying the 1 millionth soldier to come through the Queen City was one of several originating from Fort Carson, Colo., carrying soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
The soldiers at the airport Sunday morning were part of that group of “Iron Strong” warriors who are destined for the wars in the Middle East.
The Maine Troop Greeters come to the airport from all over eastern Maine, day or night, to provide warm welcomes or supportive sendoffs to those who serve the United States in all branches of the military.
Many troop greeters at the airport Sunday morning said reaching the 1 million soldier milestone was something they hoped would never happen, but they will remain at their posts supporting the country’s soldiers for as long as necessary.
“We’re the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and neighbors of these troops who can’t be here,” Tom Kohl, a Vietnam veteran and chairman of the Maine Troop Greeters, said while standing in the airport Sunday morning surrounded by soldiers. “We feel honored.”
The troop greeters began counting the servicemen and women who fly through BIA in 2003.
Click on the link for the rest of this story by Nok-Noi Ricker in the Bangor Daily News.