<b> SAVANNAH, Ga. </b> A military appreciation luncheon took place, Feb. 27 at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa. The luncheon, which recognized all branches of service, was organized by the Savannah Chamber of Commerce and included sponsors from various Savannah businesses.

Third Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo was the luncheon's keynote speaker. During his speech, Cucolo brought five noncommissioned officers, one from each service branch, to stand on stage with him and explain to the audience why Georgia is important to servicemembers.

"Standing up here, ladies and gentlemen, are folks from Tennessee, California, Mississippi, Maryland, and Georgia, from all over your United States. They travel all over the world, but they're from your United States, and home is where the Armed Forces sends you and Georgia is our home," said Cucolo. "And you need to know that when these gentlemen deploy, when they go wheels up and head out to sea, when they go away, the last place, the last bit of America they see, is Georgia. The last place they dine is in your restaurants; the last place they shop is in your shops; the last place they get that hug and get that kiss is somewhere here in coastal Georgia. That one last piece of America they see are the tinkling lights of the coastline of Georgia."

One of the honored NCO representatives was Army Sgt. James Truitt, member of Company B, 603rd Aviation Support Battalion and 3rd ID Soldier of the Year.
Truitt was recognized at the luncheon as the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce Army Soldier of the Year.

"For the city of Savannah Chamber of Commerce to invite us up here and honor us is really special to me," said Truitt.

Dr. Bill Cathcart, chairman of the Savannah Area Military Affairs Council said he hoped the luncheon meant a great deal to the servicemembers.

"It really is an honor to be brought forward by your service branch and be considered the Airman, Coast Guardsman, Soldier, (or) Seaman of the year," said Cathcart. "That is a big deal, and we're just so proud to be a part of that and to be able to host this kind of gathering that every year does spotlight top NCOs."

"This was a really great day," Truitt said. "I appreciate Savannah. I appreciate the Chamber of Commerce. I appreciate the 3rd Infantry Division. Thank you to Command Sgt. Maj. (Jesse L.) Andrews, and Maj. Gen. Cucolo for giving me the invite. I wouldn't trade it for the world."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16