MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT --
Marines and local senior citizens attended a Senior Citizen’s Tea aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Dec. 11. The event was held to honor and give back to the Beaufort area senior citizen community.
The MCAS Beaufort Officers’ Spouses’ Club organized the event with the help of Marine volunteers from the air station. This year marked the 48th year of the time-honored celebration.
“This is something that many of us look forward to all year,” said Jennie Green, a local Beaufort resident. “As soon as the event is over some of us will mark it on our calendar for next year!”
The event has evolved over the 48 years it has been held, taking on a spirit and traditions of it’s own. From the moment the guests arrive, they are completely taken care of. The OSC meticulously plans and fundraises for the event, ensuring that when the guests arrive the event is well thought out and enjoyable.
“As soon as we arrive a Marine comes out, wearing their dress blues, and escorts us inside,” said Green. “They really do roll out the red carpet for us and make us feel special. Everything is planned out, down to the last detail. There is entertainment, refreshments, and gifts.”
The event began with refreshments and tea. As the guests settled in both the Marine Aircraft Group 31 and MCAS Beaufort commanding officers introduced their spouses and said a few words.
“We hold this event to give back to you, our senior citizens, retired Marines and veterans,” said Col. Frank Latt, the commanding officer of MAG-31. “We hold this event to make you feel special; but let me tell you – this event is so much more. Ask any of my Marines here and they will tell you that getting all dressed up in our dress blues and escorting a beautiful woman on our arm, it makes us feel special. Being a Marine is a special thing and you remind us of that. So we thank you for your support and how you take care of us.”
After the opening remarks Cpl. Marlonzo Bowier sang the national anthem and was followed by other performers. Various youth dance groups and singing groups, such as the Harbor Masters performed. Bowier concluded the entertainment with a final song. Gifts and acknowledgements were given out to the guests. Speakers shared about the history of the event and members of the community. As the tea concluded, the guests said their goodbyes and were escorted back to their cars.
“Being here, wearing the same uniform that my brothers and sisters here wore before me is an honor,” said Bowier. “I will always be here for them, as a Marine, giving back to my community. This event is held for them to know how much we appreciate them, but also for us, to learn about their lives. They really do matter and contribute to the identity of out community. Without them, we would not be who we are today.”