BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Smiles and greetings at morning call quickly turned to more serious matters, as base commander Brig. Gen. Patrick Higby talked about the threat of terrorism during that past 13 years and the country's response to that threat.
"They thought that they were going to take America out, that we were going to stand back and let them run wild in the Middle East. They quickly learned that wasn't going to happen," Higby told the gathering.
He also said the base itself has played a key role in the war on terrorism.
"Places like Keesler Air Force Base. That is where we train young men and women to go out and take the fight to the enemy," said Higby.
The more than 100 civilians in attendance weighed in with their thoughts on the latest threat from the Islamic extremist group ISIS. One was military retiree Dick Wilson.
"I don't know if this country can do it by themselves. The whole world needs to annihilate them, and you know there's a lot of Christian people that feel that way, but these are not Christian people," Wilson said.
Some people, like Jeff Taylor, were taking a more cautious approach.
"I have no idea how big the threat is. It seems to be occupying a lot of the news, but I still think that it's going to be important for us to all hear what the president has to say about it tonight," Taylor said.
Another concerned citizen was Cindy Childers.
"I think we need to take a proactive approach to that, so we can show that we still are the strongest nation in the world," said Childers.
Others want to send a strong statement to ISIS, according to Harrison County Supervisor Windy Swetman.
"There's no doubt that our president of this country has got to make a direct hit back on ISIS. We as Americans are a strong country. We've never, ever given into terrorism, and I don't believe that American should do it now," Swetman said.
Then, Higby gave his final warning.
"I wish our adversaries would remember, as they go through their calculus about whether to attack or not, because they will never win. We've shown it over history," said Higby.