Veteran aid available in Maine

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: Several months ago while watching the “Today Show,” I saw a segment on a hospital in California (I believe it was in San Diego but not sure) that will help veterans free of charge, no matter what needs to be done, treatments, counseling, surgeries or whatever is necessary.

I didn’t pay very much attention at the time, because I didn’t know anyone personally who could benefit from their services. Since then a very special young lady, a veteran, has come into my life, and I would love to get her in touch with this hospital.

I have written to the “Today Show” but have not received a response. I was wondering if Sun Spots knows of this hospital and could tell me how to get in touch with them.

Thank you for any help you can give me. Have a great day. — No Name via email

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ANSWER: Sun Spots searched the “Today Show” online (www.today.com), but didn’t turn up anything. However, your veteran friend has options.

She should not have to go across the country for help. Veteran services are paid for by the federal government and are available in Maine. The website for that is www.maine.va.gov.

There is also the Bureau of Maine Veterans Services (www.maine.gov/dvem/bvs/ which includes both federal and state information to help veterans.

Other sites your friend may find helpful include www.benefits.va.gov/togus/ and www.mainecareercenter.com, which offers specialized employment and training services for veterans.

The Lewiston Veteran Center is at 29 Westminster St., 207-783-0068.

There are undoubtedly many other services as well. Surely some of Sun Spots’ readers who have served will help out by sending in any information they think will be helpful to young veterans.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: My son has a ceremonial Civil War sword with the name B.F. Beals, Auburn, Maine, inscribed on the base of the blade. We presume he is the manufacturer.

The entire blade is engraved with scrollwork, pictures of Abraham Lincoln, an eagle and a union soldier, a shield 1865, and the words GAR, and E Pluribus Unum. The handle is leather with gold brocade.

If anyone has any information regarding this sword or B.F. Beals, we would like to hear from you. Thank you, Sun Spots. — Beverly Peterson, bpeterson10@roadrunner.com

ANSWER: Sun Spots didn’t find much online. She did discover that GAR stands for Grand Army of the Republic, and that Beals also published a four-page booklet in 1886 for purchasing Civil War items (http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/g-a-r-booklet-for-purchasing-medals-flags).

She also found B.F. Beals listed as a member of veteran posts in an Androscoggin County historical document (http://archive.org/stream/historyofandrosc00merr/historyofandrosc00merr_djvu.txt), so he must have been a soldier as well as a businessman.

Perhaps local historians will have something to offer on the topic.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am a former Sun Journal employee and was very interested in the question about bowling alleys (Feb. 10).

The Golden Dome and Auburn Lanes were owned by Arthur Micalaide, Mr. Fortin and then Larry Marcotte. There was also a bowling alley where the pins were held up by cables, but that was no good.

I’d be glad to talk to Faithful Reader about the alleys if he calls me. — Roger Bowden, 402-2743

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to sunspots@sunjournal.com.

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