BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The United States military is on the frontlines. Our men and women are fighting in the war on ISIS. They are aiding in the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Tuesday night, hundreds gathered in Biloxi to salute those who serve our country.
"It's important because it gives us an opportunity as a South Mississippi community to salute and celebrate our men and women in uniform," said Congressman Steven Palazzo.
Thousands of those who have served or are currently serving our country live right here in South Mississippi. And for the past 36 years, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce has found a way to salute them.
"From what I hear, and from the prior participants such as the Secretary of the Air Force, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, it's one of the premiere events that they've ever participated in and it's right here in South Mississippi," said Congressman Palazzo.
Dressed to the nines were local dignitaries, retired and active duty military, as well a very honorable special guest speaker, General Frank Grass, who is the chief of the National Guard Bureau Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C.
"He's a great man. He started out enlisted then he got his commission so he really understands what our men and women in uniform, our airmen, and our soldiers need," said Congressman Palazzo.
Gen. Grass said he was excited when he got the invitation to speak at this year's Salute to the Military, and even more excited about visiting South Mississippi military bases.
"We're going to go to Camp Shelby, and get a chance to see the base where we've trained over 200,000 men and women who have gone overseas. It's a premiere training base," said Gen. Grass.
Adding something different to this year's event was The A Team, made up of two World War II combat vets, and a moderator. They entertained the crowd with tales of some of their most epic battles of the war.
The Thomas V. Fredian Community Service award was also presented at the Salute to the Military dinner. The winner was Master Sergeant Courtney L. King of the United States Air Force.