On November 26, 2007, a 55-foot balsam fir tree from the Green Mountain National Forest near Bennington Vermont was unloaded and set in the ground in front of the U.S. Capitol building. The Capitol Christmas Tree, the fifth Vermont tree used in this 43-year tradition, will be lit this Wednesday, December 5. A chorus from Bennington’s Mount Anthony Union High School will perform at the ceremony.
A Vermont program that reaches out to troops after they return home from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan will receive $3 million in the coming year. The funding was included in legislation already signed by President Bush. Another $3 million is set aside in the bill for pilot projects in other states. "This funding will enable us to do everything we can to help National Guard and Reserve members and their families receive the help they need as they readjust and transition back to life here at home," Senator Bernie Sanders said. "At a time when returning soldiers across the country are suffering from extremely high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, these funds should play a vitally needed role." A member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Sanders fought for the funds for both programs.
Sanders was joined at a press conference in his Senate office in Burlington by Vermont National Guard Adjutant General Michael D. Dubie, and Jim MacIntyre, coordinator of the Vermont National Guard Outreach Team.
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Senator Bernie Sanders met with seven Vermont members of the National Young Leaders Conference, which brings high school students from around the country to Washington, D.C. as part of the group's commitment to gaining a better understanding of the political process.
Senator Bernie Sanders met with Vermont House Speaker Gaye Symington to discuss some of the concerns and issues of importance to Vermonters. Symington has served in the Vermont legislature since 1996 and was elected Speaker in 2005. She is the second woman to hold that position and one of only four women in the country to serve as speaker of a state legislature.
Mr. Stanley Sabens, 83, of Barre, enlisted in the Army in 1943 and was discharged in 1945, two months after the Japanese surrender ended the global conflict that was the deadliest in human history.
He had fought in southern France and the Rhineland campaign on the Franco-Italian border with the 1st Special Service Force, the renowned joint American-Canadian commando unit known as the Devil’s Brigade. Senator Sanders helped secure replacements for medals he earned, including the Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars, a World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Honorable Service Lapel Button and Sharpshooter Badge with Carbine Bar and a Rifle Bar.
Mr. Sabens is a Vermont institution in another way. He and his wife Minnie opened the Knoll Motel in Barre in 1950, the first motel in Vermont. Senator Leahy recognized the Knoll Motel in the Congressional Record in 2001 in honor of the motel’s 50th Anniversary.