AUGUSTA – It’s not everyday a tank sits outside the Maine State House, but on Tuesday lawmakers got a chance to learn about the Maine National Guard and how they help Mainers in emergencies and daily.
They listened to an address from Major General Douglas Farnham, the Adjutant General of the Maine National Guard.
“The legislature is in charge of funding some portions….when it comes to maintaining armories that’s a role that the legislature has and one of the things that I was trying to get across,” said Major General Farnham.
He said they’ve requested $4 million in the state’s supplemental budget.
He also said as part of the effort to fill gaps in Maine’s workforce, they’re trying to attract transitioning service members to come spend civilian life here in Maine.
“I feel that veterans can be a big part of that and really should be a big part of that, they bring skills and talents, work ethic,” said Major General Farnham.
He touched on the Mainers flying over Iraq and Afghanistan and those stationed in Poland.
“How many members we have serving over there which is unbelieveable, you know a small state like Maine…we have great pride and respect,” said Senate President Troy Jackson, D – Allagash.
National Guard members, like a unit from Bangor, also showed what they’re doing here within the state.
“I thought they would be talking about refueling, but they were talking about radiation detection and showed me all their equipment,” said Sen. Stacey Guerin, R – Glenburn.
Lawmakers said funding for the Maine National Guard typically gets bipartisan support, and that Tuesday served as a good reminder.
“While we’re just going about our lives we often forget that they’re out there protecting us,” said Sen. Guerin.