UMaine student veterans speak with WABI about service, patriotism 

WABI (Channel 5) interviewed two veterans studying at the University of Maine  about their service and patriotism in a two-part series recognizing Independence Day. Matt Schaefer, who studies education, served in the U.S. Marines for 12 years, and said he takes great pride in his service. Schaefer also said Americans should not “hide from the events of the past” because it “diminishes those” who were affected by them. “This country has amazing opportunities, but a lot of people in this country don’t get to see them all,” he said. “So, I think the most important thing is for those who get to experience those amazing opportunities is not to stand by idle and be indifferent to those who seem to be struggling.” Ryan D’Amato, who also served in the Marines, said he learned discipline and goal-setting during his service. D’Amato also said he was thankful for his upbringing. “I have the opportunity to feel incredibly patriotic because my country has gone out of its way to help take care of me and I had a sense of pride in service because of that,” he said. “I grew up in a good community with all the resources acceptable to me. Other people don’t have that sort of community or structure that makes you patriotic. So until everybody has all the access to the resources that I did not everyone is going to be as patriotic as I am and that is completely understandable.”