The Aberdeen chapter of the Association of the United States Army held its annual Soldier Appreciation Picnic at Capa Field July 21 while hosting 90 Soldiers as guests of the event.
Chapter president Mary Jane Jernigan welcomed the Soldiers who were led by APG Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Rhoades.

Soldiers and chapter members dined on catered meals featuring sliced beef and ham sandwiches, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans and beverages.

"This is our way of letting Soldiers see that AUSA is here and active and working for them," Jernigan said.

A live band, Just For Fun, provided music and Jernigan led a raffle drawing in which Soldiers won gifts like tickets to pre-season Baltimore Ravens games, Aberdeen IronBirds games, gift cards to local stores and complimentary hotel stays, while other Soldiers played a beanbag toss game provided by SURVICE Engineering.

Jernigan thanked board members, the APG Garrison and others who supported the event.

"We couldn't hold events like this without everyone coming together," Jernigan said. "This is our way of showing how we appreciate the sacrifices of those who provide our freedom."

Chapter vice president retired Col. Bill Suchting, Battelle senior marketing manager, credited Jernigan with keeping the chapter focused on the Soldier during her tenure as president.

He noted that over the past year she has led numerous drives for funds and sponsorships including the sponsorship that enabled 100 Soldiers to attend the Army Birthday Ball in June.

"Our chapter has been blessed and she's been a big part of it," Suchting said. "She's managed to pull boards and companies together to focus on Soldiers at all times. We're very lucky and pleased and we're looking forward to the influx from Fort Monmouth that will make this chapter even bigger and better."

AUSA corporate sponsors include APG Federal Credit Union; ACE Electronics; Bowhead Support;; Digital Foundation Corporation; Dynamic Science Inc.; Freedom Vertical Technologies; Homewood Surites; R4 Inc.; SURVICE Engineering; Symetrics Industries; and URS EG&G Division, which also provided the live band for the event.

The next AUSA meeting will be held 11 a.m. at the Richlin Ballroom Aug. 19. For more information visit the new AUSA Web site at