BANGOR — The American Legion Department of Maine held its annual state convention June 17 to 19.

Led by State Commander Ronald Rainfrette of Lincolnville, a good representation of members from across the state were in attendance, including Legionnaires, members of the Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Riders.

After the grand opening ceremony, convention-goers were greeted by Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, Gov. Paul LePage, First Lady Ann LePage and Maine Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Gerard Bolduc, along with other dignitaries.

Maine Country Music Association inductee Debbie Myers was awarded the American Legion Department of Maine Humanitarian Service Award for her leadership in raising over $150,000 for homeless veterans on Saturday.

King, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, emphasized the importance of re-examining the merits of the Congressional sequestration cap, which prevents any increases on the amount of government spending within broadly defined categories, including funding for veterans’ care and military defense.

Other awards for outstanding achievement included Legislator of the Year, Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician of the Year, Game Warden of the Year, Educator of the Year, Recruiter of the Year and Legionnaire of the Year.

The two-day convention concluded with the election of the 2016 state officers, followed by their formal installation on Saturday evening.

Peter Johnson of Greenville, a former state legislator, was elected state American Legion commander.

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