BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- More than 7,000 flights and almost 1.5 million handshakes. The Maine Troop Greeters at Bangor International Airport have done a lot in their 11 years. However, the amount of military flights coming into Bangor have become fewer and fewer, leaving the question about what will happen to the organization in the future.
Along with the handshakes, salutes and hugs over the years, the Troop Greeters have also accumulated thousands of commemorative coins, medals and other memorabilia since the organization first started. Now, the group wants to preserve them all in a museum. And its raising money to build it. An idea that troops returning home support.
"You're far away from home and as soon as you land in the states that's the first thing you see. It's really fabulous," said Lieutenant Colonel, Robert Thelen.
The Bangor Museum and History Center turned down the idea last year. According to the Chairman of the greeters, Chuck Knowlen, the group is trying again this year.
"We need to be preserved and need to be in a position where people can see them and what better place than right here at the airport," said Knowlen.
Knowlen says the troop greeters are trying to raise about $220,000 to build and maintain a museum of their own.