August 8, 2016 --
Service members, past and present, gathered at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s, Town & Country Restaurant for the monthly Veterans Breakfast, held in the Grand Ballroom, here, Aug. 3.
Before the crack of dawn, attendees lined up outside awaiting access to the event, which many said they look forward to each month for the “camaraderie” and to receive updates and information affecting veterans, as well as the community-at-large.
Guest speaker for the event, Dr. Arthur Dunning, president, Albany State University, Albany, Georgia, opened his message and connected to his fellow-veterans with some details related to time he spent in the Air Force.
“First of all, I want to thank Colonel (James) Carroll for hosting us this morning,” Dunning said. “I also want to thank you for your service.
“There are a few things that I stay deeply proud of and one is my military service,” he continued. “I served in East Asia (while) in the Air Force in the early sixties. And, looking around the room, I can tell that some of you remember where the Cold War was at that time. I spent two years off the coast of China on a tiny island called Taiwan, in a city call Thailand.”
“What I treasure about with people in this room is not many people in this country will get the experience of serving this nation,” Dunning added. “I’ve been to a lot of places and they’ll say, ‘Will all the veterans in the room stand up.’ I almost get a chill when they say that, because I feel that strongly about my service to this country.”
After recapping the transition from his rural community upbringing, Dunning discussed the decision leading to his military enlistment; attending college using benefits provided by the G.I. Bill, and engaged the audience with the impact and progress of the recent merger of Albany State University and Darton State College Albany, Georgia.
Ron Smith, incident manager, Communications and Information Systems Division, MCLB Albany, said it was his first time attending the event on the installation.
“I’ve heard several times about the Veterans Breakfast,” Smith said. “I wanted to take the opportunity to come out and sit with other veterans, and (enjoy) the camaraderie, to receive the information. Our keynote speaker gave very, very inspiring words to us.
“I implore all veterans, when they have the opportunity, to come out and get the very beneficial information” he stressed. “This is my first time attending on this installation, and based on what I’ve seen, it won’t be my last.”
Another longtime attendee, Ernest Beckwith, U.S. Marine Corps, retired, has joined his veteran comrades at the event for several years.
“I’m here for the camaraderie and to keep up with what’s going on in the community,” Beckwith said. “We have had some really good speakers; they keep us informed and we communicate back and forth with what’s going on in our communities, too.”
The Veterans Breakfast, formerly the Retirees Breakfast, is a monthly event held on the installation, the first Wednesday of the month, unless otherwise rescheduled.
To view more photographs from the event, visit the MCLB Albany’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marine-Corps-Logistics-Base-Albany/512695405469372.