May is Military Appreciation Month, and the Santa Rosa County Chamber of Commerce is selling thank you signs to fund activities expressing gratitude to thousands of local veterans and their families leading up to Memorial Day.
“It’s just a way for us to give a little back them,” said Tracy Allen, Santa Rosa chamber president. “As many that train at Whiting Field, you automatically think of military impact, but we go to church with them, they coach our little leagues, volunteer to clean waterways…and protect our country, too. You talk to the ones who are here, and it’s funny that they don’t get this appreciation everywhere. It’s just a nice way once a year to say thanks and here’s something for you.”
The Santa Rosa chamber is planning a free picnic for local military members and their families from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., Friday, May 17 at NAS Whiting Field in Milton.
“It’s not open to the public. It’s just for the military and their families. Last year we had 1,500 to 2,000 people attend. There is food and music and local merchants give door prizes. There are also activities for kids such as carnival-type booths, horse rides and bouncers,” Allen said.
Additionally, the chamber will host a Military Appreciation Month breakfast at 7:30 a.m., Friday May 23at Sike Hall, NAS Whiting Field. The cost is $10 at the door, and the event will feature the Sailor-of-the-Quarter presentation by the Navy League Santa Rosa Council.