PARIS — A grassroots effort by a local bed and breakfast to honor soldiers returning from combat and other military personnel has come to the attention of a Maine senator, who praised the innkeepers on the floor of Congress.
A statement from U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe’s office issued Thursday said the Maine Republican delivered remarks on the King’s Hill Inn on March 4 to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Snowe, a member of the committee, recognizes the achievements of a small business in Maine every week.
In November, Glenn and Janice Davis began offering a free overnight stay and breakfast to any soldier returning from Iraq or Afghanistan who is stationed in Maine or whose family is in Maine, with the offer including a significant other as well. The Davises also offer a 28 percent discount for other military personnel in recognition of their son, Aaron Davis, a 28-year-old Air Force captain living in California.
The free overnight stay at the inn at 56 King Hill Road aims to give a soldier a quiet getaway with a loved one. Several other businesses have also contributed to the package. It includes a free dinner at Maurice Restaurant Francais in Paris; pillows from Maine Balsam Fir Products in West Paris; a bouquet of seasonal flowers from Littlefield’s Greenhouse in Paris; and gift certificates from Cafe Nomad in Norway and Walmart in Oxford.
“The King’s Hill Inn has truly offered a noble gift to our servicemen and women who have sacrificed so much for the people of our great nation,” Snowe concluded. “I am hopeful that this gracious altruism will be mirrored in the actions of other businesses, small and large, wishing to make a positive difference for some of the most deserving members of our communities. I offer my sincerest thanks to the Davises for their compassionate and philanthropic support of our military personnel and offer my best wishes for the future success of King’s Hill Inn.”
Glenn Davis said the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce unexpectedly presented the inn with a framed copy of Snowe’s remarks.
“We’re honored,” he said. “We didn’t do it for any reason other than to honor our service people and what they give up.”
He said the last couple to stay at the inn was a husband and wife, both of whom were soldiers. He said less than 10 military personnel have taken advantage of the offer because they can only return at certain times, but that there is no limit to when they can stay at the inn. He said the goal of spreading the idea to other inns has been successful.
“I don’t know if there are any in Maine, but there are several others in the country that are doing something similar to this,” he said.