Laurel Bay, S.C. -- Two small children run through bubbles, giggling and trying to catch them. Other children laugh as they chase each other through a bounce house, while adolescents with the Civil Air Patrol Lowcountry Composite Squadron prepare carefully to present the colors.
Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, Atlantic Marine Corps Communities and Beaufort Memorial Hospital collaborated on the military appreciation day aboard Laurel Bay, Sept. 6.
Col. Peter D. Buck, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, and leaders from throughout the community and Tri-Command attended the event.
“These thousands and thousands of men and women lay their lives on the line every day, but what we see every day is them and their families living in Beaufort, living in our area shopping with us, dining with us, and we want to make sure that the business community supports them and thanks them for all they do for us,” said Blakely Williams,Beaufort Chamber of Commerce CEO.
Many businesses and non-profit organizations alike attended, with free food, games and gifts galore. In addition, most booths gave information on their services to those who were interested.
“There was incredible participation from local businesses and community organizations coming in to assist, especially military focused non-profits locally and from as far away as Savannah,” said Amanda Grill. Grill and her husband, Capt. Matthew Grill, attended the event to socialize with friends and colleagues.
While the event brought the community together, many parents took the opportunity to socialize with peers as their children entertained themselves with bounce houses, sandbox games and balloon art.
“To our spouses and to our children, who put up with our schedules and put up with our mission focus, and they put up with the things we do to defend our country, we greatly appreciate what our families do,” said Buck.