BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - To celebrate the United States Air Force turning 70 years old, Keesler Air Force Base decided to mix in some cool nostalgia.
"It's always fun to dress up, and to be able to dress up in something that's not formal, and just come out and have a good time," said organizer, Teresa Anderson.
But with that fun, comes a cultural lesson as well for the young airmen.
"This is their first station, fresh out of boot camp," Anderson added. "They've not seen the traditions; they've not seen the things that they've joined into. I think it gives them a great sense of belonging."
It did for Airman Tyrah Bailey, who is training in radio frequency transmissions. Some of the memorabilia caught her eye.
"It's kind of overwhelming. I'm not going to lie," Bailey said. "But, it's a really a good opportunity to learn from people who have been in a lot longer than you and get some advice on maybe how to move up in the ranks a little bit."
Lt. Col. Michael Manning likes the atmosphere.
"It's a privilege to be part of this. I've been in the Air Force for 25 years," said Manning. "I look around and I see bits of my own history here.
Retired Lt. Col. Barry Bridger, who was a Vietnam POW, was guest speaker.
"I talk a lot about values because surviving tough times is directly related to what you value about life, about living, about being," Bridger said. "Tonight, we get to honor the men and women and their families who serve in the finest Air Force in human history, and I want to be a part of that to say thank you."
About 300 people came to the event at the Bay Breeze Event Center. It was hosted by the 81st Training Wing and the John C. Stennis chapter of the Air Force Association.