Young volunteers decorate veterans’ graves with flags at the Veterans Day ceremony at Woodlawn Cemetery in Westbrook Saturday. From left are Sawyer Gilman, Girl Scout Finley Gilman, Aarohi Jain and Gwen Johanning. The Gilman siblings are from Westbrook and Jain and Johanning live in Scarborough. Robert Lowell / American Journal

The city of Westbrook has received a 2023 Hire Vets Medallion Award from the U.S. Department of Labor for its commitment to employing veterans. 

Thirty veterans work for the city, representing 22% of its full-time workforce, according to Mayor Michael Foley, who announced the award following Veterans Day ceremonies at Woodlawn Cemetery on Saturday.

Westbrook Mayor Michael Foley announces the city’s award for hiring veterans after the Veterans Day ceremony Saturday. With Foley is American Legion Post 62 Commander Dennis Marrotte, left, and former Mayor Michael Sanphy, a veteran. Robert Lowell / American Journal

“We earned the gold award after applying earlier this year and we wish to thank the work of our Veterans Service Officer Arty Ledoux and our Director of Human Resources Joanne LePauloue for their efforts to make this award possible,” Foley said in a news release.

The award honors employers for veteran hiring, retention and professional development.

Ledoux said Westbrook demonstrates its commitment to veterans, and because of that “veterans are constantly encouraged to apply for city of Westbrook employment opportunities every time we engage with them.”

“Additionally, veterans employed by the city are offered an opportunity to attend the monthly veterans coffee and information sessions at the community center during their regular workday,” he said.

The city is one of four employers in Maine and the only municipality in the state to receive the recognition this year.

“We are honored to be recognized with this elite award and proud to support veterans and their career goals,” Foley said.

Retired Coast Guard Chief Michael Thomas leads a contingent of youth to post graveside flags at Westbrook’s Woodlawn Cemetery. He is flanked by Girl Scout Emily Donnelly, left, and his granddaughter, Kalina Kontsas, holding flags. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Girl Scout Gwen Johanning of Scarborough Troop 2403 positions a flag on a grave during a Veterans Day ceremony at Woodlawn Cemetery in Westbrook. Robert Lowell / American Journal

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