46th Annual Military Appreciation Luncheon
May 22, 2023
On Thursday, May 18th, The Harford County Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Military Appreciation Luncheon event, presented by Freedom Federal Credit Union and hosted at Top of the Bay, Aberdeen Proving Ground. This year marked the 46th anniversary of the event, highlighting the Chamber’s history and commitment to Aberdeen Proving Ground and the men and women who serve our country in uniform. The event theme was “Boots on the Ground, Support All Around”, highlighting the partnerships between the military and business communities.
Harford Chamber Military Affairs Committee Board Chair, Karen Holt of Harford County Office of Economic Development, opened the event with welcome remarks. The national anthem was performed by Staff Sergeant Griffith, Invocation given by Chaplain COL Lewis, and the colors were presented by Freestate ChalleNGe Academy Color Guard. County Executive Cassilly shared welcome remarks, highlighting the importance of Aberdeen Proving Ground to Harford County. Carmen Mirabile, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Freedom Federal Credit Union offered sponsor remarks. Each branch of the military was honored as well as the gold star families in attendance.
Cheryl J. Rawls, Executive Director for Outreach, Transition, and Economic Development for the Veterans Benefits Affairs was the keynote speaker. She shared her story and experience as a military spouse and charged each of us to make veteran benefits more accessible to those that need them. Maj. Gen. Edmonson, Commanding General of Aberdeen Proving Ground also offered remarks, highlighting the current efforts of Aberdeen Proving Ground and honoring the Non-Commissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year. This year’s Non-Commissioned Office of the Year is SFC German Sanchez, 20th CBRNE and this year’s Soldier of the Year is SPC William Hulsey, Kirk Army Health Clinic. Each was awarded an Army Commendation Medal for their accomplishments as well as gift cards and funds for uniform expenses, donated by APG Federal Credit Union, AUSA, and Battelle.
Also awarded was the APG Federal Credit Union scholarship. Cadet Canales and Cadet Burman, Freestate ChalleNGe Academy, each received a $1,000 scholarship to advance their educations. The Major General John G. Appel Award is awarded each year to a strong advocate for the community, military, and Harford County Chamber of Commerce. This year’s recipient was Warline Bryant, Chosen Development Corporation.
Thank you to all of our event sponsors: Freedom Federal Credit Union, APG Federal Credit Union, Lockheed Martin, KatzAbosch, Battelle, Chosen Development Corporation, Ourisman Toyota 40, Army Alliance, Elegant Restoration, Harford Community College, City of Aberdeen, City of Havre de Grace, Town of Bel Air, Harford County Office of Economic Development, Harford County Public Library, Jarrettsville Federal Savings & Loan, Mackenzie Commercial Real Estate, Melnyk & Wiseman, AUSA, Survice Engineering, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, The Kelly Group, Apex Advertising, MidAtlantic Photographic, and Dogtopia. Thank you to Top of the Bay for a wonderful meal and great service.
Photos of the event were graciously provided by MidAtlantic Photographic. View event photos here.