By Steven L. Shepard, Presidio of Monterey Public AffairsMay 2, 2012
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- Marching elements from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines as well as the joint-service honorary color guard of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center once again helped Pacific Grove launch its annual Good Old Days celebration April 14.
DLIFLC's military representatives were given a place of honor by leading the half-mile parade down the Pine St. thoroughfare of "America's Last Hometown" that traditionally starts the two-day festival.
Sgt. 1st Class Clinton Fournier, non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the Army's 229th Military Intelligence Battalion marching element, stated that his Soldiers were not nervous about the parade and that they had prepared by drilling and conducting a detailed uniform inspection.
"Our appearance is important because it reflects our pride in our Service and in our Nation and hopefully that inspires the same pride in the people watching us,"said Fournier, moments prior to the parade's start. "[The Soldiers] look great and are one-hundred percent ready."
National pride did not appear to be lacking as parade spectators enthusiastically waved small American flags handed out by local volunteers earlier in the day.
Marine Lance Cpl. Oliver Schlotfeldt commented on the crowd's reaction to the military during the parade.
"You could definitely hear the crowd get louder as we passed," said Schlotfeldt. "I heard a lot of 'thank yous'."
The 55th Annual Good Old Days event took place April 14-15 and, in addition to the parade, featured 230 vendors, five entertainment stages, 70 bands including the DLIFLC Air Force Student Choir, and an assortment of carnival-style rides for children.
In appreciation for their service, the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce provided free meals for the duration of the festival to active duty military members.