Military appreciation event draws remarkable crowd.

VFW members answer questions for military families.

 On May 18, the VFW Department of California hosted the 2013 We Salute You event at 29 Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Nearly 5,000 service members and their families were in attendance.

The day’s festivities included a food court and beverage garden as well as a Family Fun Zone—funded by a VFW Military Assistance Program grant—that featured karaoke and a rock-climbing wall.

“It was an extreme pleasure to meet some of the finest Marines and their families,” said VFW Dept. of California Membership Chairman Dale Smith. “It was wonderful to watch the kids have a blast in the Fun Zone.”

It was also a great opportunity for members to share information about the VFW, as a booth was set up specifically for that purpose.

Country western band Big and Rich performed an evening concert that served as the star attraction.

“I have no doubt that everyone there absolutely enjoyed themselves,” said Smith.

Overseeing refreshments and manning the Fun Zone were 18 volunteers, all of which were VFW or Ladies Auxiliary members.

“I want to give a special thanks to everyone who helped out,” said Smith. “Because of their time and energy, this event is an annual tradition.”

We Salute You is California’s premier military appreciation event and is set to grow larger every year.

“We just wanted to give a little something back to our military. That’s the most important thing.”

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