Governor Mills inducts veterans into aide-de-camp program at inaugural meeting


Earlier this week, Governor Janet Mills held her first meeting of the recently reinvigorated Aides-de-Camp program, a veterans advisory board that advises the governor on policies affecting Maine veterans.

On October 6, eleven veterans representing all branches of the military, as well as two members of Governor Mills’ cabinet who are veterans – Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck and Corrections Commissioner Randy Liberty – were inducted into the program. Aide-de-Camp at Camp Chamberlain. through Governor Mills and Major-General Douglas Farnham, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Emergency Management.

Major-General Douglas Farnham (left), PO3 James Bachelder (center) and Governor Janet Mills (right) at the Aides de Camp induction ceremony. (Photo Sarah Sherman)

Governor Mills delivered welcoming remarks and, along with Major General Farnham, presented certificates to the newly appointed veterans. Bureau of Veterans Services (BVS) Director David Richmond and Director of Strategic Partnerships Sarah Sherman gave a presentation on current veterans programs and advocacy efforts in the state, including the Mobile Homeless Veterans program Stand Down, Veterans Suicide Prevention Efforts, The Maine Veterans’ Dental Program and Other Veterans Related Issues. The Aides-de-Camps also received updated progress reports on several other ongoing operations of the Office and participated in a question-and-answer session.

“As a member of a military family, I deeply appreciate the service and sacrifice of Maine veterans and their loved ones,” Governor Janet Mills said. “Maine has the highest percentage of veterans per capita in the country, and these aide-camp positions will create an important line of communication between them and the state government. I am grateful for the work of my aides-de-camp and look forward to continuing our efforts to improve services and opportunities for Maine veterans.

“The Aides-de-Camp program will greatly assist the Bureau in its efforts to defend Maine veterans,” said David Richmond, director of BVS. “It was evident by the enthusiasm in the room that we had just acquired a remarkable level of experienced veterans who want to work together to help Maine veterans on a multitude of levels including homelessness, addiction , the transition from military to civilian work and life, health issues of female veterans and veteran students.

Aide-de-Camps will meet quarterly at Camp Chamberlain and inductees will strive to improve the lives of Maine veterans while serving as a liaison between their own communities and Governor Mills. The Aides-de-Camp inductees included:

  • MAJ David Hassen, Augusta
  • SGT Jessica Brennan, Farmington
  • CSM Gretchen Evans, Brunswick
  • COL Lori Sussman, Windham
  • MAJ Brenda Pennels, Scarborough
  • CFS Jerry DeWitt, New Gloucester
  • Lieutenant Scott Hanson, Yarmouth
  • M 3 James Bachelder, Acton
  • SGT Craig Florey, Kenduskeag
  • CPL Gary Bies, Lincoln
  • Lieutenant Whitney McKay, Eliot

About the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services

The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services was established in 1947 by the State of Maine and is part of the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Emergency Management. Our mission is to help the Mainers who have served, and their loved ones, understand and navigate the benefits, services and programs available to them. In doing so, the Bureau is a responsive, experienced and dedicated advocate. The Office is headquartered in Camp Keyes and has seven field service offices located statewide and a claims office located at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Togus, Maine. The Bureau also operates the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery Network, which includes four veterans cemeteries. For more information about the Office or to request assistance, please visit our website at


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