Burgers for the brave

Sun, 09/12/2021 - 8:45am

    Two and a half hours into Saturday’s four-hour, free barbecue for veterans and their families, American Legion Post 54 member and Navy veteran Neil Page had grilled 21 hot dogs and 22 burgers. “That’s why we call him, the grill master!” Army veteran and fellow post member Mike Barnes said at the sunny event at the post’s hall on Bath Road, Wiscasset.

    Member and Army veteran Bob Milligan had one of those burgers, and wife Lori Cronk’s granddaughter Bray Bray Johnson, 3, of Woolwich, one of the hot dogs. Member, Navy veteran and Wiscasset Selectman Dusty Jones, enjoying his first barbecue at the hall since he switched from the Legion’s Bath post to the Wiscasset one, went with a burger. “And it was wonderful,” he said sitting in an umbrella’s shade with Army veteran and fellow member Robert Fairfield.

    Turnout had been steady, with people still showing up, members said. Cronk wished more people would come to Legion events.

    Event-goers got to see one of the post’s latest projects, a line of freshly painted, cement emblems of the military branches. Barnes and Navy veteran and fellow member Cliff Hendricks said Barnes and member Tom Stoner redid the flower garden. The Navy emblem is from Cmdr. Bill Cossette Jr. “And Mike and I got a line on the other ones in Vassalboro,” Hendricks said.

    Barnes recalled, “Road trip!”

    “So  we went up there and got (them)” a couple months ago, Hendricks said. The post auxiliary then painted and sealed the emblems, which will someday sit on a kiosk or shelf at the garden, year round, Hendricks said. The post will also add a bench, they said.

    The project Hendricks noted is still a work in progress came about as many Post 54 projects have: Barnes said, “We just sit around drinking coffee and we’re always talking, and once in a while we come up with a good idea.”