Donna and George Gunning of Windsor. SPatten photo

Alan Johnston, U.S. Army veteran and commander for the Maine Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars, on Aug. 6 led the dedication of a hand-carved wood eagle to Wreaths Across America’s founder Morrill Worcester, as part of the organization’s annual Stem to Stone event in Downeast Maine, according to a news release from Wreaths Across America.

The eagle was carved by 90-year old Navy Veteran George Gunning and painted by his wife of 70 years, Donna, both of Windsor, as a gift of thanks to Worcester and all those who carry out the Wreaths Across America mission to remember the fallen, honor those that serve, and teach the next generation the value of freedom.

Over the last 15-plus years, the Gunnings have made more than 4,000 hand-carved and painted wooden, eagle-headed canes to donate to Maine veterans as an extension of the Eagle Cane Project started in Oklahoma. They do it as a labor of love for all those who served this country. The Gunnings were moved to create this larger eagle sculpture after learning more about the Wreaths Across America program and the impact it has had on veterans and their families across the country.

As part of the dedication, Johnston presented Gunnings with a $1,000 check from the Maine Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars. A $1,000 donation also was presented by Johnston to the Wreaths Across America volunteer location coordinator for Togus National Cemetery, Deborah Couture, to sponsor veterans wreaths to be placed there as part of National Wreaths Across America Day — scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 17.

To sponsor a veteran’s wreath or for more information, visit wreathacrossamerica.org. Each sponsorship goes toward a live, balsam wreath that will be placed on the headstone of an American hero.

A hand-carved wood eagle was made by George Gunning of Windsor, and painted by his wife Donna. Submitted photo

 

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