Loring Series Part 3

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LORING AIR FORCE BASE, ME (WAGM) - There was something very special about living on the most northern tier base. Cuppy Johndro was originally a military member on the base who eventually transitioned in to being a military wife an a mom of, in her words, military brats. She said there was always somebody there. "If you needed somebody to talk to or somebody to watch your kids you could literally go to the next door neighbor, toss your kids to them and say I got to be somewhere." Johndro also said that knowing there was somebody in the same predicament as you was one of the benefits to living on the base. Everyone relied on each other and trusted each other.

Bill Ossenfort was also stationed at Loring and remembers all the people and friends he had there. He said, "It was just a fantastic place to be stationed versus other bases in the south and that everybody went their own ways and here you had to stay together as a nice knitted family." He said there was always something to do on the base. There were always parties and get togethers at the youth center, the nco club and the officers club. There were skis to rent, ice fishing trips to go on and snowmobiles to ride.

The base also had a commissary for food shopping, a gas station, laundry mat, barber shop and many other places to meet every need. Johndro said the base had everything you needed and you didn't need to go far. There were weeks people on base never had to leave for supplies.

Housing on the base stretched in half a mile to mile long rows with court yards. There were often impromptu kickball games and volleyball games going on in the yards. Johndro said, "I could trust that my kids were outside. I didn't have to go out. There would be fifteen others families out watching your kid and you knew your kids were perfectly safe." A common comment from Loring veterans is that Loring was a tight knit family. This kind of connection wasn't often found on other bases. It was hard for many when the base closed to find that feeling of home. Many of those stationed at Loring would come home and make Aroostook County their home when their time in the military was finished.