Media Archive

SOAR chapter organized in Maine

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 166, No. 37, September 15, 2004

By Jessica Lee
Staff Writer

Fledgling group aims to support U.S. troops

MILO When war is taking place abroad, those who remain at home often wonder what they can do to show their support for the American troops.

Peg Luciani of Milo did. And so did Grace Decker of Milo and Sue Stanchfield of Brownville.

The three women are coordinators of the first Maine chapter of SOAR (Support Our American Recruits).

"We're really excited about being a part of this," said Luciani, who referred to SOAR as the equivalent to "the PTA of the military."

The non-profit organization, founded by Judy Jones of Pennsylvania shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, aims to support "America's military, both home and abroad, while honoring all veterans who have protected the freedoms we so often take for granted," according to the Web site

After meeting for the first time as a chapter Aug. 30, the three coordinators decided to start out with the Operation Bandana and Make a Soldier's Christmas projects.

According to Luciani, the goal with Operation Bandana is to raise funds to purchase special customized bandanas that feature the 91st Psalm to place in the hand of all troops who leave from or touch down at Bangor International Airport. The bandanas can be purchased for $5 through the SOAR Web site and donated to the Maine chapter, or money donations can be sent to the chapter so as to purchase the bandanas, she explained. Proceeds benefit the Maine chapter of SOAR.

Make a Soldier's Christmas will involve the collection of holiday cards and care packages to send to American troops, along with the fund-raising to mail the packages to make the project a success.

"We need volunteers and money to accomplish our goals," she said. "We need more than three people handling all the details.

Luciani said that anyone who is interested in joining the chapter can call for more information: 943-5817 (Peg), 965-8182 (Sue), or 943-2483 (Grace).

She said the chapter hopes to eventually become a support system for family members of servicemen and women from all across the state.

"These are our men and women, our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, and they need our support," she said.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.