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Maine Mosaic

image of man wearing a fema vest, smilling
Release Date

The wind was howling outside as we huddled in different sections of the Mobile Vaccination Unit (MVU) attempting to keep warm and protected from the rain, sleet and snow that had draped over our site. It was early April and this day has etched into the minds of our team as the single most memorable moment of our 7 weeks in Maine during which we played a small part in getting its population vaccinated for the coronavirus.

Going through that winter storm together melded the team into a strong unit which have successfully vaccinated over 9,700 Mainers.  But that memory is only part of a larger mosaic of our collective “Maine” experience.  Driving through near empty rolling country roads interspersed with farms, pine forests and lazy rivers; Standing in one place for 1 minute while experiencing the loop of cold, warm and hot weather; watching the raw beauty of a rocky, sandy beach while angry waves pounded it; learning the correct way to pronounce “chowda” and “lobsta” as we eat unique iconic foods from the area; seeing appreciative, masked Mainers light up their eyes as they leave the MVU with a “thank you.”

As we were ending the day at one site and the team was packing up their different stations, an elderly woman walked swiftly to one of us inquiring if we had any vaccines left.  We welcomed her to come in and she readily accepted. As she eagerly went through our process, she disclosed with glee and exhilaration, that because of us she would be able to see her first grandchild born in a couple of weeks.  As she walked out into the fading sun, a new, indelible piece was added to our Maine mosaic; perhaps this one will vividly remain with us as we recall our Maine adventures in years to come.

The Mobile Vaccination Unit will be in Portland, ME at the Rising Tide Brewery 103 Fox Street from June 10-13 and at 77 Milliken Street parking lot in Old Orchard Beach from June 15-18.

Come out and get your shot!

Michael Defensor

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Agency

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Last updated June 23, 2021