MCAS Beaufort --
The Beaufort Chamber of Commerce hosted Military Appreciation Day aboard Laurel Bay Housing, Aug. 26.
The event was held to thank all of the active duty and retired veterans in the Tri-command area.
“This is an annual celebration where the Beaufort Chamber of Commerce and the business community come out and celebrate all the military men and women who live in our community,” said Blakely Williams, the president of the Beaufort Chamber of Commerce. “These men and women protect our country day in and day out and support our economy. Recent economic impact studies show a 2.2 billion dollar impact between the three military installations in the area. This is just a small way for us to say thank you.”
During the event, service members and their families were able to visit different sponsored booths. Children were able to play in a bounce house and participate in an assortment of games and the Marine Corps League provided free hamburgers and hotdogs for all guests.
“Everyone had something to do here,” said Gunnery Sgt. Dennis Deppen, the Operations Chief for Marine Aircraft Group 31. “They had an assortment of games the kids could play and older service members and family members could visit different booths of the event sponsors. This was truly a family oriented event and my family and I are having fun.”
An hour into the event, a ceremony began with the Beaufort Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol presenting the colors. After an invocation and opening remarks by the President of the Beaufort Chamber of Commerce, a member of the leadership of each installation in the Tri-command addressed the guests of the event.
“I want to thank the Beaufort Chamber of Commerce and the Atlantic Marine Corps Communities for putting this great event together and showing their support to our families and our service member,” said Col. Matthew St. Clair, the Chief of Staff for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. “I did five tours up in Camp Lejeune and I thought that community was pretty squared away. But when I came down here and saw how close this family was it really set the standard. I am honored to be a part of the family down here and retire down here.”