McCormack announces retirement from Maine Air National Guard

Brig. Gen. Donald McCormack, of Windham, retired as Maine’s Assistant Adjutant General, Air, a position he has held since April 2011.

McCormack’s retirement marks the end of more than three decades of decorated military service and leadership in Maine and around the world.

McCormack graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1980, receiving a commission as a second lieutenant. After completing undergraduate helicopter pilot training at Fort Rucker, Ala., he was assigned to Fairchild AFB, Wash.

A senior helicopter pilot, McCormack logged more than 2,500 hours in a variety of helicopters and is credited with saving 18 lives.

Over the course of his career, McCormack held numerous flying and operations assignments and has held squadron and state command positions.

“Brig. Gen. Don McCormack has had a 32-year career of service to the state and the nation that has been characterized by his trademark combination of drive, focus on issues deeply important to our units and Airmen, and an unwavering commitment to excellence,” said Brig. Gen. James D. Campbell, the Adjutant General for Maine. “He will be greatly missed, but he leaves the Maine Air National Guard with a legacy that has made the ‘Maineiacs’ a superb organization far above any of their peers across the nation.”

Campbell stressed the Maine National Guard was fortunate McCormack plans to continue to serve the people of Maine in state government as the Director of the Bureau of General Services.

At his formal retirement ceremony at the Augusta State Armory, McCormack pointed to the Air Force’s core values of “Integrity First, Service before Self and Excellence in All We Do” as being the driving force in his service.

He highlighted specific events, one in 1996, when the Presumpscot River in Westbrook flooded, and his Airmen assisted the Red Cross in establishing shelters at Westbrook High School and his first rescue mission as a medivac pilot.

“We have Air Guard members in Manhattan now, responding to their flooding,” McCormack said. “Your service as Air National Guard members is honorable. You can be proud of yourselves and your willingness to serve others in need. Because of your service, citizens of Maine are safer; because of your service, our country is stronger.”

Col. John Derrico, currently the commander of the 101st Air Refueling Wing, the busiest air-refueling wing in the Air National Guard, will be promoted to Brigadier General and become the Maine’s Assistant Adjutant General, Air.

Sandy Winde benefits scheduled

Friends of Sandy Winde, of Raymond, have scheduled several fundraisers in the next few weeks for Winde who is suffering from pancreatic cancer. The general public is invited to each event:

Nov. 10: Hair-Cut-a-Thon, noon to 4 p.m. at Inspirations Hair Salon, Route 302, Windham. Adult haircuts $15, children’s $10. All proceeds will be donated.

Nov. 11: Talent Show at Jordan-Small Middle School at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Zumbathon: Sunday, Nov. 18, 4:15-5:15 p.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 28, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Center for Dance Studio on Main Street in Raymond. $10 donation.

Gray seeks recognition nominations

This is the time of year when Gray recognizes and celebrates the folks who are the backbone of the community – its dedicated volunteers. Whether citizens give their time as Scout leaders, sport coaches, municipal board and committee members, or to garden and beautify municipal property, these dedicated volunteers truly define community spirit. Each year, the Gray Town Council asks for nominations in the following categories:

Volunteer of the Year – A person who during the last year has gone above and beyond to improve our community through volunteerism.

Committee of the Year – A Town Council-appointed committee that has provided exemplary community service through its activities throughout the year.

Organization of the Year – An organization serving the citizens of Gray that has made a substantial positive impact in the community in the last year.

Lifetime Achievement Award – A citizen who has displayed a lifetime of volunteer service to Gray.

Evelyn Morrill Durgin Award – Evelyn Durgin was an unsolicited, tireless volunteer toward the care and upkeep of the Civil War Monument. The recipient of this award should exemplify the essence of Evelyn’s humility, dedication to, and love for Gray.

Last year’s recipients were Judy Huff (Volunteer of the Year) for her tireless service at the Transfer Station, Patriot Parents (Committee of the Year) for their support of MSAD 15, Caring Community (Organization of the Year) for assisting needy families in the community, Barbara Pollard (Lifetime Achievement Award) for her dedication to the Gray Cemetery, and Sue Trudel (Evelyn Morrill Durgin Award) for her continuous efforts in keeping the Civil War Monument planted and cared for.

Nomination forms are available at the Town Office and can also be downloaded from the Gray website ( Click on “Applications & Forms” in the left navigation menu and then scroll down to “Volunteer Recognition Nomination Form.” The deadline for nomination submissions is Nov. 26.

The Town Council encourages and welcomes nominations from Gray citizens who wish to recognize other community members for their volunteer contributions as they relate to the five categories of awards. They will review the nominations at the Dec. 4 meeting, and will host a reception for the recipients on Dec. 18.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.