Jesse Kaler and Don Hills
Jesse Kaler and Don Hills
When U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jesse Kaler, 27, heads for a six-month tour of duty in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in January she'll be taking a lucky four-leaf clover with her that traveled to Vietnam with her godfather, Don Hills of Union.

"I got that four-leaf clover in 1967 from neighbors and close friends Marion and Rodney Norwood," said Hills. The lucky charm is taped to a card that reads: "Good luck always, Don. From the Norwoods. March 1967."

Hills laminated it before passing it on to Kaler, who he named before she was born.

"It worked for me," said Hills, of the lucky charm. Hills joined the Army and spent two years in Vietnam as a U.S. Army Specialist. "I'm still around."

Kaler, who serves in the Traffic Management Office, does shipping for the Air Force. Her grandparents, Harold and Phyllis Kaler, are from the midcoast, but Kaler finds it difficult to say where she is from, anymore. She joined the military three years ago as a resident of Florida, but her mother and sister live in New Hampshire and she is currently based in Montana. She has served in Iraq and Qatar and will be stationed in South Korea after her deployment to Afghanistan.

Hill said he thought it was great when Kaler joined the Air Force.

"If it was up to me, I'd have all the young people do a year with the military," he said. "It's a way to pay back."

"And the benefits are good," said Kaler.