FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Hundreds of people showed their support for Fort Jackson Friday at the post’s 94th birthday celebration at the Solomon Center. The community event was attended by service members, families and children from Columbia and other parts of the state. Maj. Gen. James Milano, Fort Jackson commander, and Post Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Stall began the festivities by cutting the birthday cake with a saber. Party guests enjoyed food and drinks provided by AAFES and children’s activities organized by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
For some, the birthday party was a warm welcome to Fort Jackson.
“We just moved here from Walter Reed (Army Medical Center) a few months ago,” said Tennille Salkowski. “This is a nice event and we’re having a good time here. It’s a great way to learn more about the base.”
Children from the Boys and Girls Club of the Upstate were at the celebration as part of a field trip to the post.
“We went to the water park earlier in the day and now we’re having fun here,” said Jayla Smith, 11, of Spartanburg. “I’m glad we made it to the birthday party.”
Various activities allowed guests to take part in the celebration. More than 300 cupcakes were decorated and more than 100 people signed a birthday card that is on display at Post Headquarters. The Fort Knox-based 100th Division Army Band from Kentucky played patriotic music during the festivities and entertained party guests.
The event also served as a bridge between military families stationed here and civilians completely unaware of life on a military post.
“I’ve never been on an Army base before,” Smith said. “I feel like I’m behind the scenes on a movie set and seeing where everything happens. I hope they bring us back here next year.”