SAM’s Veterans and First Responders Program (V/FR) was developed to thank those men and women who have defended our freedoms and protected our health and safety. The goal of the program is to provide family-oriented opportunities that allow veterans and their families to experience the outdoor heritage for which Maine is famous.
The Veterans and First Responders program is led by two Associate Board Members as well as several supportive members. The program has developed strong coalitions with other veterans/first responder organizations to broaden our scope of opportunities.
The Program collaborates with the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services (MBVS), VA Maine Healthcare, Vet Centers, Maine Center for Disease Control, and the VFW Maine, as part of the Maine Safer Home Taskforce (MSHT). The task force was created to address the
growing number of veteran suicides in our state (highest in the Northeast three years in a row) as well as the nationwide average of 21 veterans a day taking their own lives.
A critical concern of the MSHT is the safe storage of firearms in the home. To address this concern the V/FR Program and an NRA certified firearms safety instructor teamed up to put together an interactive program devoted to the safe handling and storage of firearms. The instructor conducts hands on classroom training focused on the mechanics of firearms and the proper storage and use of gun locks to make homes safer. The instruction continues at the SAM firing range where counsellors provide an opportunity for hands-on familiarization, safe handling and the opportunity to shoot a variety of firearms.