Armed Forces Day
Armed Forces Day, Military service members are known for stepping up and giving back, but it was the communities they support who returned the gratitude during Armed Forces Day at City Island, May 19.
Cindi Bishop, an Armed Forces Day organizer, said a veteran approached her and expressed his appreciation for the event and public support—something service members do not take for granted.
“Being a Vietnam veteran, he said it was one of the few times that he actually wears his vet hat,” said Bishop. “He told me that he doesn’t generally wear his hat out because people don’t understand it and don’t know what the meaning of it is, but here, we understand.”
Bishop, a Mount Holly, Pa., native and member of the Armed Forces Day Committee, helped plan the event for the past seven years. This year, the five months of planning paid off, as nearly 10,000 people gathered on City Island to honor veterans and those currently serving in the future military.
The Pennsylvania National Guard, Defense Logistics Agency and Naval Support Activity take turns sponsoring the event, held annually on Harrisburg’s City Island for the last 11 years.
This year, National Guard and the city of Harrisburg co-hosted the event to foster a better military-community bond.
Several Pennsylvania National Guard units participated in the event, including maintenance teams, cavalry units and field artillery batteries. The 109th Field Artillery Regiment, based in Plymouth, Pa., showcased their 105 mm howitzers during the 21-gun salute.
Following the salute, the day’s keynote speaker, Brig. Gen. Daniel R. Ammerman, deputy commanding general, 99th Regional Support Command of the Army Reserve, spoke to the community about the importance of their support to service members.
“We must never forget that the strength of our nation is our military; that the strength of our military is our service members, and the strength of our service members is our families, and the strength of our families is the support that we get from our community,” said Ammerman.
Holly Hurley and Georgia Rackley, both family members of Soldiers, chose to show their support by running in the Armed Forces 5K race, the first event during Armed Forces Day.
Hurley, from Selinsgrove, Pa., ran in honor of her husband, Sgt. Chad Hurley, an Army Reserve military policeman with the 367th Military Police Company based in Horsham, Pa. Sgt. Hurley is serving in Afghanistan and called to congratulate his wife after the race. (DVIDS)
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