Milt McKeen of Bridgton arriving in DC for Honor Flight with a local greeter.

BRIDGTON — 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 of 2022 became a major highlight in the veteran’s life.

Milt, as he is called by his friends, was spotlighted in the Bridgton Community Center newsletter in October 2023. A lifelong resident of Bridgton, Milt was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War where he received numerous awards.  When interviewed for this article, Milt proudly read the awards from his DD214 papers.  They included the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and a Meritorious Unit Commendation.

The veteran’s work career was with Central Maine Power from where 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.  All his family is far afield. “I used to go and visit them, but now I stick to home,” remarked Milt. “Bridgton has been like a second family and the Bridgton Community Center is, 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 WWII, 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, Milt responded, “It was the best thing I ever did. They honor all vets with bands and motorcycle attachment (escort) 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, Dick, served as a Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and spent his work career following service in the Bridgton area.

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

President John Eliassen says, “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.”

For more information about the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club, check out its webpage,, or its Facebook Page. To ask questions or get on its email list for upcoming events, contact

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