News: Serving those who have served: Military Appreciation Day
Story by Pfc. Justin Rodriguez
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - There are more than 6,500 spoken languages in the world today, but the Chamber of Commerce members felt it was appropriate to take this day and say thank you to the service members.
With the American flag hanging from a local fire truck, hundreds of families gathered and shared the cloudless, sunny day together to show appreciation for the service members at Hammocks Beach State Park June 1.
The Chamber members provided more than just a place for people to celebrate, they came also with activities for children to enjoy, including bouncy houses, sports games and free food.
The children watched in awe as Billy Collins, a comedy magician who performed at the event performed magic tricks.
“I feel like it’s a good way for me to give back,” said Collins. “A lot of my family served in the military and I know what it feels like not seeing someone you love for a long time. Appreciation to me is being able to give thanks for everything they do. Seeing people happy means a lot to me.”
Every child attending had something to participate in. Children watched magic shows, decorated t-shirts, played with friends in inflatable houses, and played football, and baseball.
Members of The Chamber of Commerce also offered ferry rides to Bear Island, a nearby island for all attending families. More than 350 people took advantage of this opportunity and ferried to the island with their families.
Kayaking, swimming, and picnicking are offered on the island.
“It’s amazing seeing so many people here having fun,” said Dr. Pat Curley, a retired gunnery sergeant who attended the event and also volunteered his time to host an activity for the children. “If it wasn’t for the military, this community wouldn’t be thriving like it is. It’s important the chamber of commerce take a day to recognize the military.”
Everyone attended to show support, said Myron Beaty, a volunteer at the event. The military does unimaginable things for this country and people came to support that.
Members of the Chamber of Commerce volunteered their time to serve those who serve the country.
Military members spend months at a time without seeing their family members, all for the better cause of this country, so The Chamber of Commerce felt the least they could do is take this day to say thank you.