Maine Adjutant General talks recruiting in State of the National Guard address

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - A joint convention of the House and Senate filled the House chamber Tuesday for the annual State of the National Guard address.

Maine's Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Douglas A. Farnham, says he always enjoys the occasion.

"One of the advantages of being able to make this address each year is I can remind legislators and anybody else listening exactly the different things that the National Guard is involved in," said Farnham. "From our civil support teams to our counter drug work to our work in communities, as well as what the Bureau of Veterans Services does along with Maine Emergency Management."

Farnham highlighted a few people in specific for their efforts and accomplishments.

He also asked the Legislature for $4 million in the supplemental budget to help rehab and upgrade their armories.

"One of the things that I was trying to get across is that we do need to make sure that we put the appropriate state resources into our National Guard," said Farnham.

Farnham talked about challenges in recruiting new members to the Guard.

"The biggest goal I have is to maintain our recruiting numbers," said Farnham. "Recruiting has become more and more difficult as the economy's been strong and as our population ages."

But he also stressed the opportunity Maine has to draw veterans to the state as part of the economic plan to bring in more workers.

"We feel that veterans can be a big part of that, and really should be a big part of that," said Farnham. "They bring skills and talents, work ethic, so it's something worth targeting."