JAY — It was time for celebration Wednesday night as Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3335 and Auxiliary members gathered briefly to receive awards for the Post’s 75th anniversary.

The Frank L. Mitchell Post 3335 VFW began in 1935 and was named for an East Livermore World War I veteran who served in France and died in a railway accident following the war, State Rep. Paul Gilbert, D-Jay, said while presenting a legislative sentiment to the Post.

The post at 64 Jewell St. provides services and support to 454 veterans, Gilbert said.

Congressman Mike Michaud brought national acknowledgement for the 75 continuous years reading the congratulatory words he presented to Congress.

From the work of the Post may “the community never forget the sacrifice of these veterans” and may the “people of Jay remember the role the post has played in their town. They have been a shining light to some of our most deserving citizens,” he said.

The Director of  the Maine Bureau of Veteran Services, Peter Ogden, brought a letter from the governor and presented a national VFW Diamond Jubilee award to honor the Post’s 75 years to Post Commander John Judd.

Other awards presented to the Post included a state award for the VFW Military Assistance Program and another for the Homeless Veterans Program.

The Post has actively provided phone calling cards for deployed troops, Bryan Hennessey said of the Military Assistance award. The Post also adopted the 619th Transportation Company sending it 37 pounds of Chapstick and 118 pounds of snacks and hand sanitizer while they were deployed to Iraq, he said.

Member Palmer Hebert reminded fellow veterans that VFW Posts are being lost on a daily basis. Members are becoming “elderly” and younger veterans are focused on their families and jobs, not the Post. He encouraged members to invite veterans to become involved and keep the Post active just as the Post has been for him. Hebert also challenged the veteran members to continue to remember homeless veterans.

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