This is the 18th in a series about graduates from Mountain Valley High School who are serving our country in the military.
Sergeant First Class (SFC) Norman Voter currently serves on active duty with the National Guard in Maine. He graduated from Mountain Valley High School in 2002.
During more than a decade of service, SFC Voter has learned a life lesson that runs contrary to popular belief.
He explained, “People always tell you not to volunteer for things, but I have realized that if you do volunteer you get to do some pretty cool things. Just from volunteering for whatever Army school I could get I have been to North Dakota three separate times, New Jersey, Arizona, New York, Washington D.C. three separate times, Ohio, West Virginia, and all over the state of Maine.”
“In my time in the military, I have learned that you can do anything you want in life as long as you work hard for it,” he added.
Aside from his stateside travel, SFC Voter has spent time in Iraq and Kuwait but mostly in Maine. In Iraq, he received a Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.
“While I was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, my job was considered to be a carpenter. We, as a company, built schools and clinics. We started building up our bases and living areas,” he said.
By joining the National Guard, SFC Voter carried on a family tradition.
He described, “I joined the National Guard my junior year of high school at the young age of 17. I joined with two of my friends,
Kevin Sirois and Cory Provencher, from my class. My father and brother were a big influence in me joining the military. My father was in the Air Force and met my mother in Italy. He had always talked about how much he loved his time in the military, so I wanted to follow in his shoes. My older brother Salvatore Voter, had joined the Marine Corps when I was a freshman and I wanted to keep the military tradition in my family. I haven’t been able to turn back ever since.”
Currently, SFC Voter works out of the Augusta Armory. He is the non-commissioned officer in charge of the Southern Detachment of the Maine Military Funeral Honors Program and participates in military funeral honors on a daily basis.
SFC Voter has a home support team second to none. He explained, “My wife Jessica and daughter Alanna are the best support system I could ask for. I have had to go to many Army schools for weeks at a time. In the past few years, I have spent an average of
two months a year away from my family. My wife has had to explain to my daughter, who is four, that I will be back and am only away for a short time for the Army. My wife supports me for all my schools/training whether they are mandatory or just a school/training I want to attend. Whenever I leave, I buy my daughter a book that I record myself reading to her. Then she reads that book every night while I am away.”
SFC Voter is the son of Alba and Maurice Voter. Alba lives in Bangor and Maurice has passed away. His brothers are Colin of Bangor and Salvatore of Augusta.