Commentary

We Celebrate American Heroes, Patriotism and Sacrifice on this Veterans Day

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Veterans Day has been celebrated in many ways since 1926. And one of the best ways to honor are country’s heroes is to help them in any way we can.

The First Lady and I have had the great pleasure to meet many Maine veterans over the years. Sadly, we also have attended many funerals of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Our men and women in uniform are dedicated to protecting the freedoms we all share today. It is our responsibility to honor our heroes today and every day.

Our administration has been focused on ensuring veterans are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. That is why we advocate for veteran-friendly policies and will continue to do so.

Our administration has created a tuition waiver program for all Maine National Guard members to attend the University of Maine System, the Maine Community College System and Maine Maritime Academy.

We have launched a new veterans’ website providing a single site to access all services for Maine veterans.

We give veterans preference in state hiring and retention to provide them and Gold Star spouses an advantage in applying for employment with the State of Maine.

I signed legislation to ensure veterans and military spouses seeking employment in professions that require Maine licensing are given credit toward their experience acquired during military training and service.

More than 60 veterans have been hired through the 2016 Hire a Vet Campaign since we launched the program—and employers are looking to hire more workers.

The Bureau of Veterans’ Services, along with our partners at Department of Labor, the VA, Easter Seals Maine and others, have joined together to create this campaign with the sole intent of helping Maine’s veterans find jobs.

We also exempted Military Retiree Pension Income from the state income tax and enacted an income tax exemption for active duty military pay earned outside of Maine.

There are many wonderful veterans living and working in Maine. Our administration has made it a mission to make sure you feel appreciated and we hope you do.

On this Veterans Day, we celebrate you, our American heroes, for your patriotism and your sacrifice for the common good. We will never take it for granted.

About Paul LePage

Governor Paul LePage (R) has served as the 74th Governor of Maine since 2011. Prior to his time as governor, LePage served as the general manager of Marden's and as the mayor of Waterville.

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