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Veterans recognized in assembly featuring guests from the Travis Mills Foundation

posted Nov 14, 2018, 11:22 AM by Michael Richards   [ updated Nov 14, 2018, 11:23 AM ]
A couple of days before Veterans Day 2018, 45 area veterans plus active US Military members attended Wells Elementary School’s annual Veterans Day assembly.

One by one, these special guests were introduced to the assembled students, staff and other guests.  This was followed by several segments including the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner”, a performance by the Wells High School Band and Color Guard team performing synchronized flag routines. Towards the end of the hour, students stood and sang a rousing rendition of “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”

Also attending the assembly were three representatives from the Travis Mills Foundation who spoke briefly and, before departing, received 64 neatly wrapped gift baskets previously assembled by teachers and students to bring back to the Foundation’s rehabilitation retreat for disabled veterans in Rome, Maine.  These baskets will be given to wounded veterans and their families who visit the retreat founded by Army veteran and quadruple amputee Travis Mills.  Representing the Foundation were Program Director Kelly Roseberry, Facilities Manager, and veteran Chris Roseberry and Program Coordinator Holly Oliver. 

Family members of those connected to the military were introduced.  Standing in the audience was Sarah Hester whose husband Chad is in the Navy.  “Absolutely amazing,” said Hester of what she was witnessing. “(I am) very impressed and honored.”  The Hesters recently moved to York County from Sacramento, California and have a third-grade student enrolled at WES.  

In the days leading up to the assembly, students and staff led by Tech Integrator Marty Cryer, collected and packed items into the gift baskets for the Travis Mills Foundation.  One of the classrooms assembling some of the baskets was that of Pam Lear’s.  

Donations of assorted items in the baskets for adults and children came from Toms of Maine, Renys in Wells, the Kittery Trading Post and parents of students. “The parents came through like gangbusters once again as they always seem to,” said Cryer of the generosity of the community.

To learn more about the Travis Mills Foundation or to make a much-appreciated donation, go online to: travismillsfoundation.org.  At this website, visitors can check out volunteer opportunities, and disabled veterans sign up to attend one of the Foundation’s retreats. 

According to WES Principal April Noble, the organizers of this event ─with assistance from others─ including Assistant Principal Theresa Curran, Music teacher Karen Taylor and Marty Cryer who has two sons currently serving in the military plus a husband and another son who are veterans.  
Veteran's Day Baskets from WES
Some of the 60 plus baskets of items prepared by WES students and staff to greet wounded veterans who attend the Travis Mills Foundation’s retreat in Rome Maine.  The retreat is located at the former Eve Arden estate in the Belgrade Lakes region. 

Taking a break from packing baskets
left to right) Aiden Lear, WES teacher Pam Lear, WES Tech Integrator Marty Cryer and Emma Grace Lear (6th grade) taking a break from packing many of the baskets of donated items eventually given to representatives of the Travis Mills Foundation for their retreat in Rome Maine on Veterans Day at WES.
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