“The Hampton Roads Chamber is very proud to be a part of a community that has so many military members present. You are a vital part of our community and region,” said Bryan K. Stephens, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber.
On Tuesday, August 27, the Hampton Roads Chamber honored military members at the Military Recognition Reception at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel. The Military Recognition Reception is an opportunity to honor the hardworking men and women serving in the military who are an integral part of the region. “This event is to honor, pay respect to you and thank you for your service to this great nation of ours,” said Stephens.
The reception began with a Presentation of Colors performance from the Norfolk Naval Station’s Color Guard and the singing of the national anthem by MU3 Amanda Huddleston of the Fleet Forces Band. The Military Platinum Partner, USAA’s Joel Vargas praised the honorees for their accomplishments and encouraged them to continue learning and teaching others. “It’s all about mentorship, training and grooming our next leaders,” said Vargas.
“You are the warriors that make and keep this a great United States of America,” began Bob McDonnell, Former Governor of Virginia during his keynote address. McDonnell is a strong proponent of the U.S. military having served in the U.S. Army for 21 years before he retired in 1997, and became the 71st Governor of Virginia from 2010-2014. McDonnell discussed the positive impacts of the military on Virginia’s economy, stating that there are more than 830,000 military members currently serving in Virginia. “We not only benefit from you economically but we have an incredible sense of pride and patriotism here in this community,” said McDonnell. He went on to say that there are more veterans per capita in Virginia than any other state in the country, except for California. “Virginia is, I believe, the most veteran friendly state in the country.”
McDonnell praised the men and women in uniform for their dedication to patriotism and willingness to serve in times of war and peace, calling them the “unsung heroes.” He spoke of the sacrifices the military makes each day for freedom and thanked the honorees being recognized for their service. “Your business community, your civilian community appreciates you,” said McDonnell. “There’s no greater force for good than the United States military.”
Following the keynote address, 28 men and women from 12 naval commands were awarded for their outstanding service and valor. 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.
Thank you to our sponsors: Host Sponsor: Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel, Military Platinum Partner: USAA, Military Legacy Sponsor: GEICO, Military Gold Sponsor: ADS, Military Bronze Partner: Bon Secours Virginia Health Systems, City Sponsor: The City of Norfolk, Gold Sponsor: BrightView Landscape Services, Bronze Sponsors: Entercom Norfolk, Richmond Alarm Company, Troy University.