Hegar to speak at 7th annual ‘Boots on the Ground’ event

Knox Museum marks its 7th annual Memorial Day weekend event, Boots on the Ground, with a very special presentation by U.S. Air Force veteran and Air National Guard pilot—and author of Shoot Like A Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front—Mary Jennings (M.J.) Hegar on Saturday, May 27, at 11 am. Shoot Like A Girl is soon to be a major motion picture with Angelina Jolie set to star in the role of Major Hegar.
The program will be held under the big tent at Montpelier, the big white house at the turn to St. George in Thomaston. In addition to Major Hegar’s talk there will be musters and music, lunch, special activities for children, and tours of Montpelier. Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend. The event is sponsored by Walmart Foundation, Camden National Bank, Beverly and David Worthington and Brooks Trap Mill.

Major Hegar served three tours in Afghanistan flying Combat Search and Rescue as well as Medevac missions. On her third tour to Afghanistan on July 29th, 2009, she was shot down on a Medevac mission and sustained wounds resulting in her being awarded the Purple Heart.  Her actions on this mission saved the lives of her crew and patients, earning her the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device, and making her just the sixth woman in history to receive the DFC (the first was Amelia Earhart), and only the second ever to receive it with the Valor Device.

Major Hegar was named one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers, and one of Newsweek’s 125 Women of Impact. Senator John McCain tells us that “Major Mary Jennings Hegar has established her warrior credentials, joining an elite group of American service members who have bravely served our nation in combat. In Shoot Like A Girl, Major Hegar shares her remarkable experience on the front lines both overseas and at home–from exchanging fire with the Taliban and saving her comrades in Afghanistan, to fighting to open all combat positions to women in the military. Shoot Like A Girl is a must-read about an American patriot whose courage and determination will have a lasting impact on the future of our Armed Forces and the nation.”  Copies of Shoot Like A Girl will be available for sale at the event, and signed by the author.

In addition to Major Hegar’s talk, music will be provided by Midcoast Community Band, directed by Joanne Parker. Fish chowder and strawberry shortcake will be provided by Jim Barstow and Tenants Harbor Masons, with hot dogs and hamburgers being served by U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army vets. Free tours of Montpelier including Knox Museum’s special 2017 exhibition “Maine Women in the Military: From the American Revolution to the Global War on Terror” will be available between 1 and 3 pm. And Bill Komulainen of Camden plans to display his authentically kitted-out 1943 WW II-era Jeep on the property, weather permitting.

The event will go on rain or shine. Visitors are encouraged to carpool, to dress for changeable weather, and to bring lawn chairs if possible. Some seating will be provided. A reminder that, due to the historical nature of the building, Montpelier is not at present handicapped accessible.

For more information contact Knox Museum at 354-8062 or info@knoxmuseum.org, or visit the Museum’s new website at www.knoxmuseum.org.

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