Credit: George Danby / BDN

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The situation in Afghanistan

I know the situation in Afghanistan is bringing up a lot of emotions and feelings within our veteran and military communities. My family and I, and our team at the foundation, have been watching closely right along with you. Remember that no matter what you are feeling, you are not alone.

This week, my foundation sent out an email with some updates on what we’ve been up to here at the Travis Mills Foundation this year. We have focused a lot on our recalibrated veteran family summer retreat program and it has been truly incredible to see veteran families bond over their unique experiences. It is times like these that we have to stay focused on being together with our families and battle buddies. We can lean on our support systems, reach out to our brothers and sisters for support, and check in as we navigate through the coming days and weeks.

I have served in Afghanistan and there will always be a part of me there. Our prayers go out to the Afghan people and our allies. To the veterans, active duty service members, their loved ones, Gold Star Families, and caregivers — please remember that our sacrifices were not in vain. We did our job and we need to be proud of that.

Our service helped keep our families and our country safe for nearly two decades. Our service allowed the people of Afghanistan to thrive and create opportunities for themselves over the past 20 years. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I know together we can get through anything.

Travis Mills

Retired U.S. Army staff sergeant


Travis Mills Foundation


Thankful after this legislative session

With the 2021 legislative session officially over, I want to say thank you. These past months have been a learning curve for everyone. I want to especially thank all our state representatives, state senators, the committee clerks, administrative support and all the people who worked so hard to keep our legislative session on track and on time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year has been anything but normal as we continue to mask up, social distance and track the rising variant numbers, but there are many good things that came out of this recent legislative session. For the first time ever, Mainers were able to testify safely from the comfort of their own homes, making it easier for people outside of Augusta to testify. This is something that I hope will continue in the years to come. Participation in our democratic process should match the ease with which we do many things online today, and our Legislature scrambled to figure out how to safely and simply pull this off for an active and highly debated session.

Overall, the Legislature considered over 1,700 bills. There was strong bipartisan support for issues like retirement security, affordable broadband expansion and lowering prescription drug costs. I am looking forward to seeing what we can get done in 2022!

Fran Day


My opinion about the opinion pages

I have two thoughts on Tuesday’s opinion pages. First, Gwynne Dyer’s column was the sagest comment on the Afghanistan situation I’ve seen. I always read his column for a balanced view of the world situation.

Second, regarding the letter about the dim bulb governor of Florida: Stephen King, the disparaged average truck driver and others of us (especially those of us who live part time in Florida) are at least as qualified to offer political opinions about Gov. Ron DeSantis as a guy in Montville who offers no evidence of understanding the uproar about DeSantis.

Don Payne