Friday, October 18, 2019

Before the memory fades: A haunting tale from Windham’s Parson Smith House

By Walter Lunt

Roger Barto bolted upright in his bed. Sleep had almost taken him, but something, a noise in the hallway outside his upstairs bedroom, brought him back to full wakefulness. Now his senses were on full alert as he stared across the darkened room at his bedroom door. On the other side, in the hallway, came the sound again: a thump – then another – and another, becoming more pronounced as it seemingly approached his bedroom door.

“It was like the sound of a (heavy) shoe or boot. But just one. It was like (whatever it was) only had a sock on the other foot.” recalled Roger.

Former caretakers of the Parson Smith House recall
a haunting night in the early 1960s that may involve
this boot
The sounds continued: thump – pause – thump – pause…

“(I remember) it grew louder until I knew it was just outside my door. I grabbed my bee-bee gun and sat wide-eyed and unblinking for over an hour.”

But the hallway, and the whole house, became quiet for the rest of the night. Eventually, Roger slept.

This incident, we’ll call the haunted hallway, took place in 1961. Roger and his brother and sister, all in their teens had moved into the historic Parson Smith House on River Road in Windham with their parents, Malcom and Betty Barto. They would be caretakers of the nearly 200-year old mansion, which was owned by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, based in Boston.

The family loved the big old house. Spacious and homey, Roger and his sister, Sue, recalls how great it was to finally have their own rooms. Outside, there were open spaces - fields and woods, and across the road swimming and fishing in the Presumpscot River. Their mom, Betty, was attracted to the house’s architecture and history. It was the home of Windham’s (New Marblehead’s) first settled minister, Parson Peter Thatcher Smith. Initial construction began after the Indian wars in 1764 but was not finished until the early 1800s. As a result, the ancient structure exhibit features of Georgian, Federal and Greek Revival architectural styles.

There were no incidents of paranormal activity right after the family’s move into the house. But within the first couple of years, both Betty and Roger became aware of an unseen presence.
There were times, especially when alone in the evening, Betty would later recall, when one would experience an omnipresence; more than once she would be startled by unexplainable sounds coming from various parts of the house. One time, footsteps, another the rattling of chains.

It was Roger who found an old boot tucked away in a basement crevice. Obviously not modern footwear, it was a man’s large-sized black leather galosh with wooden pegs in the sole, well-worn and very old.

Speculation at the time was that it may have belonged to either Parson Smith or to Edward Anderson who later lived in the house. The boot soon became a conversation piece. Displayed prominently on a shelf in the original colonial kitchen, it fit in well with the historic ambience of the old house.

Fast forward to the 1970s or ‘80s and an altered version of Roger’s haunted hallway story emerged. This one incorporated the old boot and a search for deceased children.

As told to legions of Windham school children and to visitors on a tour of the Parson Smith House, it went something like this: One June night a young boy in his upstairs bedroom awoke to the sound of a footstep descending the stairs. Knowing that his family was all tucked into their beds, the frightened young lad took refuge under his covers for the rest of the night. The next morning the boot was found at the top of the stairway, ostensibly having moved by itself from its display perch in the downstairs kitchen.

Research later revealed that one or more of Edward Anderson’s children had died very young in the month of June. And so, as the story goes, the long-dead father wearing the single boot walks in search of his young offspring every June.

Asked recently about the veracity of the updated version of his haunted hallway experience, Roger Barto responded firmly, “Never happened!” The earlier hallway story did happen, he insists, and retells it like it happened to him only yesterday.

Like the old parlor game ‘whisper circle,’ a group of players can change or embellish a word or phrase with each new telling around the circle. So, before the memory fades, it’s often worthwhile to return to the source of a story. In this case, Roger Barto. Perhaps his haunted hallway story will start around the whisper circle again. And perhaps that’s okay because when it comes back, it tends to be more fun and entertaining. At the very least, such stories tend to generate an interest in history.

Asked if they believe the unusual events at the Parson Smith House were the result of a haunting,  or if they feel there is a reasonable explanation behind them, most of the people who have actually lived in the house agree that spirits, though benign, do reside there. Elaine Dickinson, who has lived in the Parson Smith House with her late husband, Don, for over a quarter century has a more pragmatic take on the question:

“Once, I had to move a lot of heavy boxes from one end of the attic to the other. I asked that boot spirit to help me. And you know what? Those boxes never moved!” 



Friday, October 11, 2019

It’s almost heating season: Let's keep our community warm

By Bill Diamond

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing; the air is getting cooler and the nights are getting longer. Fall is here and with it comes the start of heating season, that is, the time of year when you have to heat your house.

Heating a home can be a significant burden for many people in our community. Most people use oil to heat their homes, the price of which can rise and fall based on a number of different factors, and it often doesn’t take much for heating costs to get out of hand unexpectedly. This issue is especially bad for seniors on fixed incomes, because while their costs might go up, their income doesn’t change.

This is a tough spot to be in. I have heard stories of folks wearing extra layers to stretch a tank of oil to its limits, buying small quantities of fuel at a time, or cutting back on other necessities just to keep their house warm.

There are a few options available to help people who are having trouble paying their heating bills. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federal program that provides money to low-income homeowners and renters to help pay heating costs. It generally doesn’t cover all heating costs, but it does provide temporary assistance to those most in need. In Cumberland County, the Opportunity Alliance in Portland administers this program. Applications are taken by appointment (phone or in person) from September through March.  For more information or to make an appointment, call (207) 553-5900, or email heatingassistance@opportunityalliance.org.

LIHEAP helps a lot of people, but it is somewhat limited, and every year there are people who don’t end up getting the help they need. In that case, there’s Windham Neighbor Helping Neighbors. 

Neighbors Helping Neighbors is an organization I, along with Windham Reps. Mark Bryant and Gary Plummer, founded in 2007. That year, heating fuel prices hit record highs, and folks were calling our State House offices looking for help heating their homes. In our first year of operation, we served 17 families. Now we serve up to 100 families a year.

The organization is completely volunteer-run and funded by generous donations from individuals,
local businesses and other organizations. Our annual gala each year is a big part of our fundraising efforts, and this year's event, held on Sept. 27 at the Stone Barn at St. Joseph’s College, was our largest turnout ever. I am so grateful for the continuing support of community members, who help us serve neighbors in need. To donate, volunteer or find out how you or someone you know can get help, visit windhamneighbors.com or call me at (207) 892-8941.

Finally, for folks who are looking for a long-term solution to high heating costs, Efficiency Maine has several programs and incentives that can help you increase your home’s insulation or buy a more energy efficient heating system, such as a heat pump. In fact, this year the Legislature passed and the Governor signed a new law to increase incentives for heat pumps, so that hopefully, we will have fewer people who need help paying their heating bills in the winter.

As always, please feel free to contact me or my office with any questions, comments or concerns. You can call (207) 287-1515 or email me at diamondhollyd@aol.com. It’s a pleasure to serve as your state senator.

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Kirtan coming to Raymond's Clyde Bailey Drop-In Center

A special Kirtan (call and response chant) will take place on Friday, October 18 at 7 p.m.
This event is for the recovery community and sponsored by the Call and Response Foundation. It is open to anyone in recovery, their families, friends, or allies. It will be hosted by the Clyde Bailey Drop-in Center at 1311 Roosevelt Trail, Raymond.

Leading this kirtan will be Susannah and Francesco Sanfilippo. Susannah, who provides harmonium and vocals, and Francesco, who performs with percussion and vocals, have been leading kirtan in the Portland area for over 10 years. They love vocalizing with others and sharing this sacred peace practice with all willing souls.

Kirtan is a call and response singing meditation, which helps quiet the mind and cultivate peace. The roots of kirtan are in the Hindu tradition, but the practice does not require belief in any religion or tradition. The spiritual experience and benefits of singing meditation are available to all who participate! This is a family friendly event. No previous experiences in this practice are necessary.

This event is family friendly and offered by donation to all who feel called to attend! Donations in support of bringing kirtan to recovery and other communities will be accepted with gratitude.

The Clyde Bailey Drop-In Center provides a place where persons recovering from alcohol or drug-related problems may participate in activities in an alcohol and drug free environment through a safe and effective support system. Our membership is made up of people in recovery from alcoholism and other addictions, plus affected others. We are self-supporting through membership dues, contributions and fundraisers. We are not affiliated with any 12 step recovery programs although we do accommodate AA, Al-anon NA and other related meetings.

Senators Collins, King announce more than $1.2 million to prevent domestic violence and protect survivors

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Safe Voices of Auburn have been awarded a total of $1,249,486 to support domestic violence and sexual assault prevention programs and protect survivors throughout Maine.

“As we continue to work to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, we must also ensure that all survivors receive the resources they need to ensure their safety and wellbeing,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement.  “This funding will help strengthen our state’s response to these crimes and allow the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Safe Voices of Auburn to continue to protect victims in their communities.” 

The funding is allocated as follows: 

The Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault received $624,545 to increase accessibility, awareness, and effective responses and referrals to sexual assault services in northern and eastern Maine.  The Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault works in collaboration with Aroostook Mental Health Center, Rape Response Services, and Sexual Assault Support of Midcoast Maine.

Safe Voices of Auburn received $624,941 to improve safety and the criminal justice response for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in Oxford County.  Safe Voices works in collaboration with Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services and Maine Prosecutorial District Three.

This funding was awarded through the Office on Violence Against Women’s (OVW) Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Program, an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice.


Meaningful approaches to death and dying: A free panel discussion series offered at Unity in Windham

By Lorraine Glowczak

As a culture, we prepare and think very carefully about birth and how to bring a child into the world. There are a number of options we can choose that include a home birth, water birth, the Bradley method, the Lamaze method – the choices are endless. But most importantly, parents get to make the choice that is the best fit for their comfort, physical makeup and belief systems.

On the other hand, our culture offers very little alternatives for how we face and embrace the death of a loved one or of our own. As a result, Unity Center for Spiritual Growth (Unity), 54 River Road in Windham, is presently offering a seven-week series to educate people on the opportunity to be involved with death in an intimate and personal way.

Jody Fein
“The medical system, the funeral industry and our own denial of death all have impacted our ability to take death into our own hands and hearts,” stated Rev. Pat Bessey of Unity. “This course is designed with the idea of opening the door to a relationship with death and dying and to understand how it could profoundly change the way we live.”

The idea to offer this educational series came as a result of a personal experience of Jody Fein. Fein had shared some of the details with Rev. Bessey and Bessy believed it would be a good learning experience for others.

Fein’s husband of many years recently passed away from lymphoma. “He was diagnosed 15 years ago, and he didn’t let the diagnosis stop him from living fully,” explained Fein. “He approached his death as he approached his life – with presence, curiosity and courage.”

We all can comprehend the concept of living life fully – but what does dying fully look like? As his death approached, Fein stated that her husband was moved from the hospital to Gosnell Memorial Hospice House. “It was such a good option for us because it allowed our family to be with him at all times.”

Fein stated that some people may not know that one can pass away at home – and even spend time with body after the person passes, giving the family time to say goodbye on their own terms. People may not know that they can attend a cremation as part of the experience. The important thing is, there are just as many personal options one can make during the death process as in birth.

One of the many books that inspired Fein after the death of her husband, and while she faced her own mortality during a bout with breast cancer, was “Being with Dying” by Joan Halifax.

According to Goodreads.com, Halifax’s work is a source of wisdom for all those who are charged with a dying person's care, who are facing their own death, or who are wishing to explore and contemplate the transformative power of the dying process.

The website states, “Halifax offers lessons from dying people and caregivers, as well as guided meditations to help readers contemplate death without fear, develop a commitment to helping others, and transform suffering and resistance into courage. She says, "Why wait until we are actually dying to explore what it may mean to die with awareness?" A world-renowned pioneer in care of the dying, Joan Halifax founded the Project on Being with Dying, which helps dying people to face death with courage…”

Although the workshop has begun, there are three more sessions open to the public. The first one will be on Thursday, October 24 with the showing of the film, “Holding Our Own and Embracing the End of Life”. A second film will be held on Wednesday, October 30, “POV – A Family Undertaking”. Lastly, a panel of experts will be available for questions, answers and discussions on Thursday, November 14. All three events will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Unity. There is a suggested donation of $5.

To learn more, visit the Unity Website at https://unitygreaterportland.org/ or call the church at 207-893-1233.

This workshop is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Student of the Week: Natasha "Tasha" Pongratz


Tasha Pongratz, an eighth-grade student at Jordan-Small Middle School, is The Windham Eagle’s Student of the Week. Pongratz states that she enjoys field hockey, horseback riding and drama.

“Through her words and actions, Tasha Pongratz demonstrates all the qualities and characteristics of a model student and citizen,” stated her teacher. “Tasha craves challenge and can always be counted on to ask thought-provoking questions. A team player as well as a leader, Tasha excels in collaborative work while listening to her peers, offering ideas, and staying focused. Her positive attitude is contagious, and it is evident that Tasha is self-motivated and ambitious.”

Pongratz’s favorite subject is Language Arts and what makes learning fun for her is doing activities. She lives at home with her two weird brothers and a beagle named, Will.






Windham Eagle Reporter Craig Bailey shares tale of becoming a Registered Maine Guide


Craig Bailey (photo by Tom Roth)
Many can relate to the allure of spending time, better yet, earning a primary or secondary living, while adventuring in the woods and on the waters of Maine. The reality is that to receive any form of remuneration, for leading Maine-based adventures, the State of Maine requires that person to be a Registered Maine Guide.

Recently, The Windham Eagle Reporter and Registered Maine Guide, Craig Bailey, upgraded his Guide License, adding Fishing to his pre-existing Recreational Guide License. This article shares his experience in doing so.

After earning his Recreational Guide License earlier this year, Bailey began preparing for the test to earn his Fishing Guide License. Here, Bailey indicated, “I’ll preface with: in the spirit of full disclosure…”

That is, his original Fishing Guide test took place in June, on the Monday after he had returned from an adventure on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Bailey emphasized, “unfortunately, I did NOT sufficiently prepare for one area covered in the test. And, I failed…”, stressing further, “that was humbling…”

You see, when testing for a guide license, there are two major segments, which are based on the nature of the license being pursued. First, a written test, which Bailey indicated he passed with flying colors. Second, an oral test, in which the applicant meets with a panel consisting of Game Wardens and Master Registered Maine Guides.
http://www.hallimplementco.com/
Bailey shared, “during the oral exam you are literally hammered with questions and scenarios covering fishing laws and techniques (hook and worm, lures, fly fishing, trolling and ice fishing) as well as the safe and efficient operation of watercraft and related regulations, the identification of species of flora (trees and plants: edible and otherwise) and fauna (birds, mammals and fish), and finally, handling situations you may encounter with clients (illness, injury and/or behavior).”

Bailey stated, “What makes this part of the exam most interesting is the panel of interviewers are quite coy, in true Mainer fashion!”

As an example, Bailey shared, “one of the questions asked was: ‘How do you adjust the freeboard on your canoe?’ Here, the interviewers are determining if you understand the anatomy of a canoe, and if you don’t - will you try to B.S. your way through it. Fortunately, I do know the anatomy of a canoe, so I responded with ‘Well, I suppose that would be based upon how much you put in the canoe.’ You see, the freeboard is the amount of a canoe’s side which is above the waterline. The more you put in the canoe, the less the freeboard.”

At the end of the test the scrupulous interviewers indicated Bailey had demonstrated significant knowledge in the area being tested but had missed on an important item. He wasn’t able to identify a sufficient number of flies. And, since Maine is well known for its fly fishing, they felt this was an important area to demonstrate significant competency.

cstlouis@spurwink.orgBailey indicated his annoyance, “especially given that I used to tie flies as a kid. And, I am quite good at fly fishing. I simply didn’t take the time to refresh my memory banks and prepare for the identification of a sufficient number of flies.”

Upon humbly, yet wholeheartedly, agreeing with their decision, Bailey graciously thanked them for their time and promptly put in his request for a re-test.

“At this point”, Bailey mentioned, “I went into cram mode, which included preparing flashcards covering a number of flies. I studied these at least weekly, awaiting my retest, increasing to multiple times daily, leading up to test day.”

Example flashcards prepared for fly identification:

The re-test was scheduled for September 6 and, Bailey was happy to report, “I passed. I am now a Registered Maine Guide with Specialized licenses in both Recreation and Fishing!”

What is next? Bailey responded with, “Later this month I'll be guiding a group (upwards of 10) on a hiking / camping expedition on Mt. Katahdin.”

In addition, Bailey indicated, “I'll be updating the website for my guide business to include Fishing Guide services.”

In closing, Bailey stated, “never give up on your goals and dreams. And, when (not if) you have a setback, get up, dust yourself off and give it another go.”



Rep. Bryant earns highest score for supporting state employees


AUGUSTA – Rep. Mark Bryant, D-Windham, has received a 100% rating on votes to support state workers, according to a recent scorecard released by the Maine State Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union (MSEA-SEIU).

“I support unions,” said Bryant. “Having spent most of my career at Sappi Fine Paper, I know firsthand that unions help middle class families get by.”

The member-run union group took into account five key bills from the first session of the 129th Legislature. The bills focused on pay parity for adult protective caseworkers, strengthening collective bargaining through binding arbitration, funding a compensation and classification study, excluding collectively bargained salary increases from earnable compensation limits for retirement and supporting the state budget.

Rep. Bryant represents part of Windham in the Maine House of Representatives. He serves on the Taxation Committee and the State and Local Government Committee.


VFW Announces kickoff of annual scholarship competitions


Commander Willie Goodman of the Windham Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10643
announced the kickoff of this year’s VFW Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy essay competitions. The Patriot’s Pen competition is open to middle school students, including home schoolers, in grades sixth to eighth in the Windham area.

Students are invited to write a 300 to 400-word essay on this year’s theme, “What Makes America Great.”

The Voice of Democracy competition is open to the high school students, grades nine through twelve, include those home schooled, in the Windham area. Students are to write and record a three to five-minute essay (on an audio CD) on this year’s theme, also, “What Makes America Great.”

Students have the opportunity to compete in these VFW annual essay competitions and win thousands of dollars in scholarships in either competition. Students begin by competing at the local Post level. Post winners advance to district and district winners compete in the state competition.
The first-place state winner of both competitions receives a four-day trip to Washington, DC. The first-place winner on the national level will received $5,000 for the Patriot’s Pen winning essay and the first-place winning essay national for the Voice of Democracy will receive a $30,000 college scholarship.

Deadline for student entries is October 31st. Interested students and/or teachers should contact VFW Post 10643 by phone at 207-228-4329 or write to the Post at PO Box 1776, Windham 04062 for more information.

Broadway veteran Norm Lewis to perform with Windham Chamber Singers at An American Family Holiday

Norm Lewis

The Windham Chamber Singers are excited to announce plans for the 2019 edition of An American Family Holiday.  According to Dr. Richard Nickerson, the conductor, the concerts will take place on December 7, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Windham Performing Arts Center. Tickets will go on sale Monday, October 7 at 8 a.m.   

The Windham Chamber Singers are pleased to welcome back Daniel Strange. Strange is a WCS alumnus and on the faculty at the University of Miami.  Also returning will be violinist Ashley Liberty.

This year’s headliner will be Norm Lewis. Lewis is a Broadway veteran who was recently seen in NBC’s live broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar. He made history as The Phantom of the Opera’s first African American Phantom on Broadway.   “We are excited to welcome back Norm Lewis and continue our tradition of bringing the highest quality performers to Windham," said Nickerson.  This will be the third time Norm Lewis has appeared at An American Family Holiday and, according to Nickerson, he is always a crowd favorite.  

Tickets are $10 to $32 reserved seating and can be purchased by calling (207) 892-1810 ext. 2875 or online at www.windhamchambersingers.com




Protect the Protectors campaign by State Farm to be presented at Public Safety Day on Saturday


First responders are the first people called into action when public safety is threatened, especially
during catastrophic events. State Farm and Canary recognize the safety of their families is a significant concern for first responders.

To show our appreciation, State Farm and Canary created the Protect the Protectors campaign. The goal is to provide access to technology for these dedicated public servants to stay connected while they are protecting their local communities. Since the launch of the campaign in December 2015, nearly 20,000 Canary home monitoring devices have been donated by State Farm and Canary to first responders across the country.

State Farm Agent Tricia Zwirner will present the Windham Police and Fire Departments with 133 innovative Canary home monitoring devices during Public Safety Day.

The device alerts the user to monitor motion, air quality and temperature changes through the use of an app.   

What:    Protect the Protectors
Who:     Windham Police and Fire Departments
When:   Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 1 p.m.
Where:  Public Safety Day at the Public Safety Building, 375 Gray Road, Windham, ME
  


RAA to display new art exhibition at Raymond Village Library: Meet and Greet on Wednesday


Raymond Arts Alliance sponsors a rotating artist display at the Raymond Village library.

Beginning the month of October, Bruce Small, a local freelance photographer with a focus on nature, and particularly birds, is currently on display. There will be a meet and greet on Wednesday October 9th at the library from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Light refreshments served.

Bruce Small is a freelance photographer based in Maine's Sebago Lake Region. He has lived on Raymond Cape for the last 23 years. Raised in Falmouth on the coast, his interest in photography started at a young age, when his grandparents gave him a Kodak Brownie camera.  Since then he has has taken photos throughout his entire life. 

“My photographs include birds, other wildlife, flowers, natural landscapes and coastal scenes,” Small stated. “Since retirement in 2017, I have had a special focus on loons, migratory birds and Sebago sunsets.  My wife, Gail, is a big supporter of my photographic endeavors and joins me often on when I want to venture away from Raymond.  She usually takes a book, from the Raymond Village Library, when I spend a “little” extra time absorbed in my passion.

Small has a grown son, a daughter and a three-year-old granddaughter, who is a favorite subject.


October is American Legion Membership Month

By Dave Tanguay

During October, the American Legion, both on the national level as well as locally at the Field-Allen Post 148 in Windham, make a concerted effort to recruit new membership to the Legion.  At a recent training session on Media at the National Convention, I was asked bluntly by the instructor, “Why should someone join your Post?” Without expecting an answer, he went on to say, “until you can answer the ‘Why’ question, your efforts will be mixed at best.”
It certainly got me to thinking. Why did I join the Field-Allen Post? For me, being a veteran of 23
years in the military, I missed the teamwork and common goals associated with a military type organization; the sense of returning something to the community.

I was also fortunate in a way, because the Field-Allen Post was undergoing an identity crisis and in need of new blood. So, in 1999, 38 local veterans gathered to revitalize the Post; providing all new members with a fresh vision and not to mention, a few challenges. That was then.

Today, Post 148 has been one of the Department of Maine’s fastest growing Post in the state. So, why join? Is it the camaraderie? For some yes, but for many, they connect by social media and don’t need to belong to an organization. 

https://www.miracle-ear.com/locations/windham-me/?utm_source=Print&utm_campaign=Links&utm_medium=Short+URLsHow about services? Good thought. Most veterans, at some point in their life, will need help with health issues, GI Bill or maybe a need for good insurance. For the younger, veterans; those needs
might be a long way off, so why join now? If you are forward thinking, you can establish the foundation for your future needs by working with VA representatives to understand your benefits and the support structure available to you. The Legion is a great help in this area.  

How about personal motivation - the adage, “Veterans never stop serving”?  One of the great pillars of the Legion is, “Veterans Serving Veterans”.  It is the core of much of what the Legion does. 

The Legion has a variety of programs to support our veterans, their families, our youth and the community. There are certainly other veteran organizations out there that support community. I would advocate that the Legion has been doing it better and the longest for over 100 years. This fact sometimes gets lost with the perception of the Legion as a being bunch of “old guys”. Well these “old guys” weren’t always old and have been quietly doing the business of the Legion since 1919. 

https://www.facebook.com/WindhamForward/The question then, “Why Join” must be personal. Each Post is a little different, just like each veteran is different. Each Legion Post has a different emphasis on what elements of the four pillars they most strongly support. The Field-Allen Post emphasizes support for veterans in areas such as homeless vets, youth programs such as Legion Baseball, Boys State, Youth Air Rifle Program and Scholarships.

Joining is not a one-way street. The Legion will be looking for skill sets that you can provide as well
as, answering the question, “What can we do for you?” So, the decision is personal. I would encourage interested veterans to stop by the Field-Allen Post’s Vet Coffee held each Wednesday at the Windham Veteran Center, 35 Veterans Memorial Drive, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Stop by for coffee and donuts and get to know your fellow veterans. They are an eclectic bunch!

Now, for some good news. For many years the Legion was limited by Congress as to the periods of service that allowed a vet to join the Legion. The Legion Act has fulfilled a promise made by Col. Teddy Roosevelt in 1919 that “A Veteran is a Veteran”. (All vets should be treated equally and eligible for entry into membership in the American Legion). As of July 31st, of this year, with the passage of the “Legion Act”, any Veteran who has served at least one day of active Federal Military service after Dec 7th, 1941 and has an honorable discharge is eligible to join the American Legion. Contact Post Adj. David Tanguay, 892-1306 for some special deals in October.