SANFORD — Seventy-six years ago, America entered World War II. Sixty-seven years ago, the U. S. became engaged in the Korean War.

And Mainers answered the call.

According to the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services, 113,000 Maine residents served in World War II.  Five years later, the Korean War commenced, and over  its three year span,  41,000 Mainers served.

While those who wore the uniform  — whether in the thick of combat, stateside or in some other capacity — may already be sporting medals bestowed by the military on behalf of a grateful nation, they are also eligible for another honor.

A state law approved in 2005 authorizes the state to bestow recognition certificates and medals for those who served.

On Flag Day, June 14, at Sanford Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9935 southern Maine veterans who served in World War II and Korea will be honored by their state.

“Everyone who was in the service during this time period is eligible,” said Jim Bachelder, past commander of the state VFW. “This is not federal government or local town, this is the state recognizing veterans and is the  beginning of some other initiatives like an assistance program for homeless veterans and for other services.”

He said some veterans have already received the recognition award from the state.

Those who haven’t should contact him soon, he said, so he can submit the necessary paperwork to the Bureau of Veterans Affairs so the certificates can be prepared. Bachelder said he can be reached at 432-7127.

The recognition ceremonies are set for 3 p.m. June 14, and will be followed by a cook-out.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

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