By Yvonne Johnson, APG NewsNovember 9, 2012
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The commanding general has designated November as Veterans Appreciation Month on Aberdeen Proving Ground.
This means that Team APG will honor veterans throughout the month with programs and events especially for those who have served the nation in uniform.
"We're excited about this and we want to transfer that excitement to you," said APG Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. James Ervin who is overseeing events. "Bring your flags and banners to APG in November when we honor you and show our love and appreciation for your service," said Ervin.
APG Veterans Day Ceremony
Activities on Saturday, Nov. 10 will be centered at the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center, Bldg. 3326.
The theme of the day is "Honoring All Who Served," said Capt. Maritzabel Mustafaa, commander of the Garrison's Headquarters and Headquarters Company.
"The purpose of our Veterans day activities is to honor and thank all military personnel who served in the United States military during all wars and to pause to remember those who never came home," Mustafaa said. "This event is open to the public and we invite all veterans throughout the community inside our gates so we can show our appreciation for their service and sacrifices."
At 8 a.m., the public is invited to join in the Veterans Victory 5K Run/1 Mile Walk starting and ending at the recreation center. At 9 a.m. APG Commander, Maj. Gen. Robert Ferrell will lead the APG Veterans Day Ceremony which includes Recognition of community Veteran Service Organizations and a speech by guest speaker Craig Carpenter. A former Army sergeant, Carpenter is a Desert Storm veteran and Department of Veterans Affairs spokesperson. He joined the Army in 1984 and served in Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm and Somalia as a medic. In 1994, he was honorably discharged from the Army in Washington, D.C. and decided to stay in the area. Carpenter exited the Army with diabetes, high blood pressure and multiple sclerosis. Wheelchair-bound, he began using the services of the VA Medical Center in November 1999 and presently is a volunteer working in the Outpatient Laboratory. Carpenter is a strong voice for VA health care and an advocate for disabled veterans. Because of his knowledge of the VA system and My HealtheVet, in particular, he is a frequent veteran spokesperson who encourages other veterans to access VA health care.
The event concludes with a free breakfast following the ceremony and concert by Country recording artist and Baltimore native Dean Crawford, leader of the Dunn's River Band. The Jamaican-born singer-songwriter has been entertaining audiences from Maryland to Nashville more than 15 years. Crawford has opened for some of the top names in Country music and performs regularly in the Mid-Atlantic region, from Baltimore to Atlantic City to West Virginia's Charlestown Races & Slots. This will be Crawford's third appearance at APG. His first was a Salute the Troops concert shortly after the start of the Iraq War. He came back in 2007 to warm up the crowd during the first Montgomery Gentry concert. Recently awarded U.S. citizenship, Crawford jumped at the chance to return to APG. "I want to do this for the veterans; I want to do this for the troops," he said.
LOL Comedy Tour
Later that evening, have a hilarious good time during the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Tour featuring Josh Blue, the winner of NBC's Last Comic Standing and the GI's of Comedy -- real military veterans from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps- at the Post Theater. As a salute, veterans and active-duty military are admitted free. All others pay just $15; $12 for CAC ID card holders. Light fare is included and there will be a cash bar. Doors open 7 p.m.; show starts 8 p.m. This show contains adult content. Patrons must be 18 or older to attend
Other Veterans Month events include:
Col. Gregory McClinton, APG Garrison and deputy installation commander, will be the guest speaker at the Annual Veterans Day Service, 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in Aberdeen, hosted by the Catholic War Veterans.
The Honoring Our Nation's Veterans Golf Tournament will be held at Ruggles Golf Course with a Shot Gun Start, 8:30 a.m. to noon and includes, Four Person Scramble, Captain's Choice. The $60 price includes 18 holes of golf, a golf cart and lunch. Prizes will be awarded to the top winners. Sign up at Ruggles Golf Course. For more information, call 410-278-4794 or e-mail email@example.com.
A Veterans Entrepreneur Job Fair will be held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center, Bldg. 3326 Erie Street. The Job Fair seeks to provide veterans an opportunity to exhibit as an entrepreneur, offering business products and services and as an Intrapreneur, offering problem-solving skills to potential employers. McClinton and Ervin will offer remarks along with keynote speaker Justen Garrity, and Iraq War veteran and owner of Veteran Compost in Aberdeen.
Veterans and Gold Star Families are invited to attend the Thanksgiving Prayer Luncheon 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Main Post Chapel. "This is a way for us to honor those who have courageously served, to stand by those who have persevered through loss and to offer thanksgiving and prayer to the entire APG community," Mustafaa said.
Prayers, special recognitions, music and a keynote address will precede the luncheon, a buffet-style meal in the chapel Fellowship Hall
During Veterans Education Day, to be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center, Bldg. 3326 Erie Street, veterans will receive information on college programs and services. "This celebration of American Education Week is to show support to our veterans seeking to better themselves," Mustafaa said.
Invited colleges and universities are University of Maryland University College, Florida Institute of Technology, Central Michigan University, Harford Community College, Wilmington University, and the two visiting institutions: Excelsior College and University of Phoenix. The Maryland Veterans Affairs coordinatorTroops to Teacher programs, the American Legion Auxiliary and ROTC programs will be on hand to provide educational information and opportunities.
Each Wednesday in November, APG troops are encouraged to "Take A Vet To Lunch."
For more information, check the APG website, www.apg.army.mil, the APG News, www.apgnews.apg.army.mil, and APG social media sites: facebook.com/APGmd; twitter.com/USAGAPG; flickr.com/photos/usagapg; apg.armylive.dodlive.mil/.