FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Past, present and future Soldiers were honored during Fort Jackson’s combined Retiree Appreciation Days and Armed Forces Day activities Friday and Saturday. The celebration included golf, bowling and bingo competitions, a ceremony at Hilton Field and a health and benefits expo at the Solomon Center.

“This is a very proud day for Fort Jackson,” said Maj. Gen. James Milano, Fort Jackson’s commanding general.

During the ceremony at Hilton Field, veterans and retirees were applauded for their service, Soldiers with the 187th Ordnance Battalion participated in the pass in review and future Soldiers were sworn in. Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston, adjutant general for South Carolina, who was the guest speaker, applauded all who made the decision to serve the nation.

“They understand the world,” Livingston said. “They understand our country’s place in the world. And they step up and do the right thing.”

Milano, who administered the oath of enlistment to a group of recruits, commended the future Soldiers on making a “huge commitment” while the nation is at war.

“I don’t care if they serve for three years or for 33 years,” he told the veterans in attendance. “Their service is something, like yours, that nobody can ever take away from them.”

For retirees like Tom Sanford, a retired master sergeant who served in Vietnam, the celebration was a way to reconnect with the Army and former battle buddies.
“I get to see people I’ve known a long time ago,” Sanford said.