Seven veterans, all residents living at Granite Hill Estates in Hallowell, a local retirement community, recently participated in Honor Flight Maine in Washington, D.C., according a news release from Granite Hill Estates. 

Now back home, several local groups and a business want to honor these veterans as well. The Augusta Elks Lodge will treat the veterans to lunch on Friday, July 19. At 10:30 a.m., the veterans will board a van at Granite Hill Estates and travel to the Red Barn Restaurant, 455 Riverside Drive, Augusta. This group will have a police escort and a motorcycle escort.

This group will be met at the Red Barn Restaurant by the owner Laura Benedict and members of the local Elks Club, which has offered to pay for their lunch, and by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard.

During their trip route to Washington D.C., these Maine veterans were overwhelmed by the standing ovations, handshakes and picture taking from adults and children alike. This occurred at the Portland International Jetport, the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and also at all of the memorials they visited in Washington, D.C., according to the release.

Two busloads of veterans were escorted by police and motorcycles with displays of flashing lights and sirens, while weaving through traffic to the war memorials they visited over the three days. This service was also provided to and from the Maine and Washington airports.

The veterans said it was very heartwarming to have people from all over the world, citizens and tourists, wanting to shake their hand and pose for photos with them.

According to the release, the United States is losing more than 500 of its veterans each day, so please keep in mind those that have and are currently fighting for our freedom.

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