HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Retired Mississippi Army and Air National Guard personnel were the guests of honor Thursday during an annual event at Camp Shelby which celebrated their service to the state and nation.
More than 200 retirees and their families gathered for Military Retiree Day.
During the event, Maj. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, Mississippi's adjutant general, thanked the attendees for their dedicated service. He also gave them an overview of new construction projects at the post and spoke about the ongoing training mission at Camp Shelby.
A special recognition was also given to about a half dozen World War Two veterans who were in attendance.
"We enjoy the camaraderie," said James Patrick, a National Guard retiree from Memphis, Tenn.
"That's the enjoyment factor, to see people that you haven't seen for several years after you've retired," said Alonzo Dotson, another National Guard retiree from Louisville, Miss.
"It's nice to meet people that served like I did," said Arthur Gardner, a Navy veteran from Waynesboro who served in World War Two. "They know what's going on, you know," he said. Gardner attended the event as the special guest of a National Guard retiree.
Elsewhere at Camp Shelby Thursday afternoon, family, friends and fellow National Guard soldiers gathered at the post All Ranks Club to bid farewell to Col. Brad Smith, a former Camp Shelby commander who is retiring at the end of this month after nearly 34 years of service in the Guard.