Camp Shelby hosts centennial 'Family Day'

Camp Shelby hosts centennial 'Family Day'

CAMP SHELBY, MS (WDAM) - Thousands of people visited Camp Shelby Saturday to celebrate its 100th birthday.

The post hosted a "Family Day" centennial open house, featuring aircraft demonstrations, displays of military vehicles and dozens of re-enactors wearing U.S. Army uniforms from World War One through the Vietnam War.

Live music and children's activities were also part of the event.

"We are interested in what this base has to hold and what it has to do for the State of Mississippi," said Dawn Polley, a Gulf Coast resident who visited the post for the first time Saturday.

"For (visitors) to come out and see what's really going on, I think is very important, especially for the young people," said Jackie O'Bannon, a National Guard veteran who also visited the post Saturday. "Before I was serving (at Camp Shelby) permanently, I was coming here for about 15 years, two or three times a year, but I'm really proud of it."

Another Mississippian who's proud of Camp Shelby is Gov. Phil Bryant.

He spoke at opening ceremonies for "Family Day."

He said the post is important for the State of Mississippi.

"You're looking at an impact of about $35 million a year on the economy of the State of Mississippi, about 1,600 jobs," Bryant said. "But set all of that aside. Think of the war fighters over a hundred years that have come through here."

According to the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum, more than one million troops have trained at Camp Shelby since it opened.

It was officially established on July 18, 1917.