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HMAC recognizes sponsors, volunteers of July 4 celebrations
Volunteers were honored Monday for their contributions to Fort Stewarts Fourth of July celebrations. Sponsors who contributed also were recognized. - photo by Randy C.Murray

The Hinesville Military Affairs Committee on Monday recognized sponsors and volunteers who made HMAC’s food court a success at Fort Stewart’s Fourth of July celebrations.

“This is one of the longest standing committees in Hinesville,” chairman and city council member David Anderson commended committee members who are all volunteers. “We know you do what you do because you care.”

The committee recognized eight of its member-volunteers. Then P.J. Schneider read a long list of businesses, civic organizations and churches that provided money, food or equipment for the food court.

Col. Kevin Gregory, garrison commander for Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, and garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Louis Felicioni, took part in the committee’s August meeting. Gregory said he thought the July 4 celebrations were a success, but added next year they should look for a better way to get lost children back to their parents.

The committee itself was recognized and thanked for its service to the community by member Command Sgt. Maj. (ret.) Jeff Ashmen, who was representing the Sergeant Majors Association. He said HMAC’s support for a golf tournament his association sponsored helped raise money for $500 scholarships to high school seniors.

HMAC, which supports Fort Stewart soldiers and their family members, also supports other veteran organizations as well as community events. Several fundraisers and membership drives by veterans organizations were mentioned, including a Disabled American Veterans membership drive and cookout in the Walmart parking lot Sept. 15.

And on Sept. 15, the Vietnam Veterans of America, Liberty Chapter 789, will sponsor a pancake breakfast at Applebee’s from 8-10 a.m. Tickets at the door are $6. Command Sgt. Maj. (ret.) Chad Chaffee said Applebee’s is providing the tickets and the food, and his organization is providing the servers.

Following breakfast, the VVA will co-sponsor a yard sale at St. Phillips Episcopal Church at 302 E. General Stewart Way.

HMAC member Brigitte Cabeza-Shanken said this year’s United Way campaign will kick off Sept. 13. She also invited members to a “Make a Difference Day,” Oct. 27. She described it as “neighbors helping neighbors.”

Gregory invited committee members and the community to a 9/11 remembrance service from 9:30-11 a.m. Sept. 11 at Stewart’s Main Post Chapel.

Other business and issues discussed Monday included pending federal budget cuts and how they will affect the Department of Defense and this military community.

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