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Salute to the Troops Sunday in Manhattan Beach

Jun 26, 2015 10:49AM ● By DigMB Staff
Family fun and great music are on tap for a special Salute to the Troops Picnic and Concert this Sunday, June 28 from 4-7 p.m. in Polliwog Park.

Hosted by the City of Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation Commission and the MB City Council, the event pays tribute to current and former members of the U.S. military and features music from Mira Costa High School Jazz Band, the National Anthem sung by Dennis McNeil, and music from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band from Miramar. 

The first 1,000 veterans and current members of the military will receive commemorative “Salute to the Troops” challenge coins, a symbolic military token that showcases membership and boosts morale among service men and women. Coins will be passed out at the Parks and Recreation booth beginning at 3 p.m., according to Parks and Rec Director Mark Leyman.

“We pride ourselves on being a family-friendly community, and we provide numerous events throughout the year to unite our residents,” said Mayor Wayne Powell, Mayor. “The ‘Salute to the Troops’ event is particularly special, as we celebrate the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our everyday freedom by coming together to showcase just how much their service means to our city.”

Community members are encouraged to pack a picnic, blanket, and chairs for the celebration.

Attendees can also showcase their support for our nation's military members by bringing bottled water or Costco gift cards to the event. City staff will accept cash donations, too, to purchase Costco gift cards. Donations will be delivered to the United Service Organization (USO) at Los Angeles Airport.

An area for writing letters of thanks to military members will be available, too. 

The event includes a "meet and greet" for current and active military members beginning at 4 p.m. while the MCHS Jazz Band plays. A large canopied area will be set up for the informal Meet and Greet amongst vets and current military and will have banners such as WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, and Iraq-Afghanistan, said Tom Allard, MB Parks and Rec Commission member.

The Veterans Administration (VA) will have a booth to answer questions from vets, and the Bob Hope LAX USO will have a booth. The Bob Hope LAX USO prepares
 free sack meals that are then given to military personnel passing through LAX.

The US Army, National Guard, and sponsors such as 
The Lakers, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, and First Command Financial Services will also host booths.

At 5 p.m., renowned performer Dennis McNeil, who has serenaded five US Presidents, and countless dignitaries and foreign heads of state, will sing the National Anthem. The March Air Force Base Color Guard will present the flag.

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band from Miramar in San Diego will play a variety of music, including patriotic tunes, said Allard.

Personnel from the El Segundo Air Force Base, the LAX Coast Guard Station, the joint strike base at Los Alamitos, the Los Alamitos Naval Station, March Air Force Base, and Camp Pendleton have been invited to attend the event.

"It's such a great event to honor our veterans and current military members," said Leyman. "We don't do it enough."

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