Blaine Brown Contributed photo

Blaine Brown Sr., a resident at Maine Veterans’ Homes — Augusta, has been named Veteran of the Month for April.

For Brown, the second oldest of his siblings, the town of Lee is home, and where he was raised alongside his three brothers and two sisters. Brown’s father worked various jobs, and his mother worked for Forster Manufacturing Co. in nearby Mattawamkeag, making clothespins.

Blaine Brown Contributed photo

During high school, he worked for his cousin on a farm, helping to support his family. As for hobbies, there was only one love — cars, both driving them and fixing them up.

“I had a ’55 Ford that fell through the ice when I was ramming around,” he said, according to a news release from the veterans’ home.

A car dealer friend came with his Army 6-by-6 to help get it out of the water.

Cars would go on to be a lifelong passion for Brown.

He was drafted into the Army in 1962, completing boot camp at Fort Dix in New Jersey before continued training in Oklahoma. In between training, Brown married his sweetheart, Marianne. After Oklahoma he was sent to Germany, where he operated the 105 mm Howitzer Tank. He and Marianne had a son, Blaine Jr., and when his second second child, Elaine, was born, Brown was serving in Germany. She was more than a year old when he finally met her.

“I was very happy to see her,” he said, adding that his wife had sent many photos of Elaine and wrote about her in letters.

After the military, they raised their family in Augusta. He worked as a carpenter for a contractor’s group that specialized in building large facilities.

Locals might recognize some of the projects he worked on: Dunkin Donuts in Augusta, Houses in Ganneston Park, and the Mormon Church in Farmingdale.

As a youth and into adulthood, his passion for cars never wavered. With a lot of work and much love, he revamped a 1940 yellow Ford pickup truck in two to three years. It included power steering and windows, air conditioning, and other upgrades. He’s incredibly proud of the work he completed, and the truck is now considered a collector’s item.

In retirement, Brown enjoyed fishing for trout in Maine’s lakes and streams and hunting for deer in the state’s rich forests with his son and namesake. He also loves to dote on his two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

As a resident at Maine Veterans’ Homes — Augusta, he loves the food quality and choices and appreciates how veterans are recognized and celebrated in the organization. Brown is honored to have been named April Veteran of the Month.