The Annual State American Legion Award is taken home by a Ridge Veteran.
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Perched on a tiny wooden platformlike is an eagle that is nestled just at the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet of Dwight Whitcomb.

The eagle is a symbolism and representation awarded to specific, acknowledged volunteer work for decades in the giving hand to veterans locally in any way. It is considered a very huge honor by the veteran community. The seventy two old Vietnam Veteran, Dwight Whitcomb, was even unsure if this was reality of him deserving the award.

While he was having an interview with the reporters from Ledger-Transcript Thursday, he pulled the 2017 state legionnaire of the year award and looked at it for a couple minutes and said that it was such a high and great honor and that he is sort of in a way very proud. He said that every time he looks at the award he is reminded that that some people in the Veteran midst that deserve the award and not him.

He said that the news to him came as a completely shocking news since he was not even aware that he was nominated, leave alone being the winner among the other nominees.

Having served in the United States Army from 1963 – 1966 as a heavy equipment operator, Whitcomb had always been self-driven and passionate about giving a hand to other veterans in the army who were in need and wished for help. Navigating them to the healthcare field was one of the things he had a strong desire to do.

He always felt that it was part of him or part of the regular duties, he was assigned and passionate about. He considers helping other veterans as a personal thing for him and does not ever want to see a fellow veteran in dire straits.

As much helping the veterans was in him, Whitcomb continues to say that he has more focus and attention to Vietnam Veterans who are like him since they were given what he referred to ‘the short end of the stick’ upon resuming the state’s army. When it comes to the Vietnam Veterans, he extends his hand further.

Whitcomb, from all of his fellow Veterans, is a proud one because he is a founder of the Rindge Veterans Association and also being involved in the creation of Memorial Park for the Veterans in Rindge. The memorial park is located close to the intersection of the main street and Payson Hill road.

After several months after him being awarded, he finally accepted the award and said that he is at last coming to grips with the award even though he knows it is a biggie for him and that he will never take it for granted that he was not the only one deserving the award among the state Veterans.