Dr. Peter Drews serving on USS Rushmore in the US Navy

I served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy for five years before coming to Maine. During my time in the military I was stationed in some really tough places, like San Diego. However, I was also deployed to the Middle East and spent nine months aboard the U.S.S. Rushmore, or as I liked to call it, the "S.S. Seasickness."

I was very fortunate that both my mother and my aunt Margaret single-handedly helped to support the U.S. Postal Service while I was overseas. I received weekly care packages, secured with at least 3 yards of duct tape, containing candy, t-shirts, cartoon clippings from the newspaper and all kinds of other errr, junk. We all looked forward to the mail drop when it came, and it also became evident that not everyone else had a 'crazy aunt Margaret' sending them camouflage Beanie Babies.

So as a civilian, I've been involved with Operation Gratitude, a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that has been sending 100,000 packages a year to deployed military service members since 2003. It is an organization that I strongly believe in and support.

Dr. Drews with with Poland Community School students

My office is pleased to collaborate, for the second year, with Poland Community School as part of the Halloween Candy Buy Back program. They collected over 150 pounds of candy this year!

The money they raised will go towards projects in the school, and the candy they collected and dropped off (along with a folder full of letters, cards and pictures thanking the service men), we will forward to the Operation Gratitude Head Quarters so that they can distribute it to the troops.

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woman in a bathrobe holding a toothbrush worried about brushing her teeth

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