Milton McKeen sits on the Martikainen McKeen bench at the Bridgton Community Center in Bridgton. Submitted photo

In Rotary Year 2021-22, the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club chose to fund an Honor Flight experience for a worthy veteran from the Lake Region. Milton McKeen was chosen, and the Flight in May 2022 became a major highlight in the veteran’s life.

Milt McKeen of Bridgton arrives in Washington, D.C., for Honor Flight with a local greeter in 2022. Submitted photo

“Milt,” as he is called by his friends, was spotlighted in the Bridgton Community Center newsletter in October. A lifelong resident of Bridgton, McKeen was a sergeant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, receiving numerous awards. Awards from his DD214 papers included the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and a Meritorious Unit Commendation, according to a news release from the club.

The veteran’s work career was with Central Maine Power, from which he retired after 38 years. From there he went on to work at the United States Postal Service. He has two children, a son in California and a daughter in Wyoming. His four grandchildren reside in California, Colorado and Alaska.

Milt McKeen in front of the Korean War monument in Washington, D.C., during his Honor Flight in 2022. Submitted photo

“I used to go and visit them, but now I stick to home,” remarked McKeen. “Bridgton has been like a second family and the Bridgton Community Center the very center of that where I enjoyed years of playing bridge and cribbage.”

Through his mother Lina Martikainen McKeen and his uncles, three of whom served in World War II, Milt comes from a long history of serving his country. A bench at the Bridgton Community Center attests to that, honoring Milt and his three uncles, Ahti S., Toimi K., and Enzio O. Martikainen.

When asked about the Honor Flight, he responded, “It was the best thing I ever did. They honor all vets with bands and motorcycle attachment and visits to all the memorials. It made you feel very good.”


Milt acknowledged Rotarian Dick Enright, a founder of the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club, as a hard worker, seeing that veterans are provided for. A veteran himself, Enright, served as a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and spent his work career following service in the Bridgton area.

At 93, he spends a lot of time visiting doctors, taking care of his health and being at home. Sunday mornings he watches church services on Facebook Live.

President John Eliassen said, “We love supporting veterans and are so proud of Milt and his contribution to our country and the community. We are proud to name him the club’s Veteran of the Year.”


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