The month of May is celebrated as Military Appreciation Month, which serves as a declaration of unity and encouragement for the United States Armed Forces. The Hampton Roads Chamber hosted its signature Military Recognition Reception on Wednesday, May 15at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach to recognize and show support for the brave men and women throughout the region. Approximately 120 members of the armed forces including Navy, Marines, Airforce, and Army were honored for their outstanding display of duty and excelled skills from local commands Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek/Fort Story and NAS Oceana.
The ceremony began with the President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber Bryan Stephens welcoming and thanking the honorees and their families on behalf of the business community. “One thing we understand is that family members serve our nation too. We will work to ensure that this is the region of choice to have family members work, go to school and live their lives. What makes this city and region great is the people and we are eternally grateful for what you do. We have the great distinction of having the greatest military in the world,” said Stephens.
Captain Joey Frantzen, USN, Commanding Officer-Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek/Fort Story spoke directly to the military leaders in the room on the unsurpassed efforts they demonstrate each day while serving our country. “To military families, thank you for the continued love and support of your sailor, marine or coastguardsmen. Your role is vital and important. To our men and women of the armed forces, our country is safe because of you and our community is better because of you,” said Frantzen.
The Military Legacy Sponsor, GEICO Military Service Manager Jennifer Johnson urged the honorees to take advantage of what they have at their disposal while in the military. “What you do is so important. You protect our families,” Johnson said.
“You are the economic driver that makes the region run but even more, you are part of the DNA and fabric of Virginia Beach and this region,” said Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer who attended the ceremony as a distinguished guest. Having served in the Marine Corps, he spoke from experience and reiterated what dedication it takes to be a part of the United States Military. “I learned teamwork, mutual respect, and have honor for the greatest country in the world,” said Dyer.
Hampton Roads is a region built on military partnerships that undoubtedly contribute to the prospering economy, businesses, and overall quality of life. This annual event has taken place for 25 years as a way for the business community to express appreciation and thanks to members of the military for their continued sacrifice and service.
The Hampton Roads Chamber means business and works as a powerful economic partner, inspiring ignitor, impactful advocate, and regional brand collaborator for our diverse and inclusive business community.
Thank you to our sponsors: Host Sponsor: MOCA, Hospitality Sponsor: Tessa’s Creations, Military Legacy Sponsor: GEICO, Military Platinum Partner: USAA, Military Gold Sponsor: ADS, Military Bronze Partner: Bon Secours Virginia Health Systems, Bronze Sponsor: The Barry Robinson Center.