Thursday, December 31, 2020

American Legion presents Eagle Cane to Windham resident

Henry 'Chuck' Whynot, a former U.S. Marine and
a resident of Windham, is helped by his wife, Pam,
as American Legion Field-Allen Post 148
Commander Eric Bickford reads a citation
presenting Whynot with a special Eagle Cane during
a ceremony at the Windham Veterans Center on
By David Tanguay

Special to The Windham Eagle

A former U.S. Marine and resident of Windham who works tirelessly on behalf of Southern Maine veterans has been honored by American Legion Field-Allen Post 148 with the presentation of a special Eagle Cane.

Henry “Chuck” Whynot logged four years in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and was recognized by the American Legion post for being the driving force behind the Post 148 Homeless Veterans Food Pantry Program and the Vet Coffee Program in Windham where veterans can gather at the Windham Veterans Center to socialize, tell stories and play cards over a cup of coffee.

He has been a member of the American Legion Post 148 since 2008 and has served since 2015 as the post’s service officer.

Whynot also volunteers for the Southern Maine Agency of Aging in their unique Vet to Vet Program which he visits other veterans and assists them with obtaining veterans’ services, if needed.

Married for more than 40 years to his wife, Pam, Whynot is the father of two sons and has three grandchildren.

He’s a graduate of Portland High School and joined the U.S. Marine Corps in July 1970. Whynot did basic electronics and ground radar training and was stationed in Okinawa providing quick response to ongoing U.S. military operations in Vietnam through his discharge in July 1974.

The Eagle Cane Project originated in Oklahoma and was introduced in Maine in 2008.

Woodcarver Jack Nitz of Tulsa, Oklahoma launched the Eagle Cane Program after watching an ABC News television segment in 2004 about post-Sept. 11 veterans. Nitz, who served in the Navy from 1948 to 1957, said he realized there was "a little something" that he, as a woodcarver and cane maker, could do to let injured veterans know they had support from people in their community and to also honor them for their service.

The program has now spread to 32 different states, including Maine, and is a collaborative initiative that awards quality hand-carved personalized Eagle Head canes to disabled veterans in recognition for their service to our nation.

The canes are turned and then carved by a specialist who assembles it, attaching replicas of medals and
ribbons won by the recipient before applying a finish. The cane presented to Whynot was made by Ron Edson, a member of the American Legion’s Bridgton Post and a resident of Windham.

The cane was presented to Whynot in a special ceremony at the Windham Veterans Center on Dec. 23 by American Legion Post 148 Commander Eric Bickford, who also read a citation for Whynot that accompanied the cane.

The citation reads as follows – The American Legion-Department of Maine Certificate of Appreciation Presented to Henry “Chuck” Whynot In Grateful Appreciation for service to your Country, your Community, the American Legion and the United States Marine Corps. Your unfailing support and unwavering dedication to the service of others is recognized by this presentation of the “Eagle Cane.” Presented by the Field-Allen Post 148-Windham, Maine this 23rd Day of December 2020.

Whynot is also a member of the Marine Corps League, Southern Maine Detachment, and is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10643 in Windham. He was awarded the American Legion Post Service Officer of the Year for the Department of Maine in 2016. <

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