Free admission Saturday to Ocean Beach for vets, military members and their families
The City of New London, Ocean Beach Park and the New London Veterans Affairs Advisory committee are hosting the first Veteran Appreciation Day on Aug. 18 at Ocean Beach Park.
U.S. military vets and active duty service members and their families will be provided free parking and admission as part of the all-day event. Acceptable forms of identification are active duty military ID card, VA or military medical ID card, retired military ID card, VA or military disability ID card, or a DD-214.
One of the highlights planned for the day will be the annual U.S. Coast Guard Academy Swab Run with 200 cadets running in formation along Pequot Avenue to Ocean Beach. Running with the academy's Class of 2022 will be Superintendent Rear Adm. James Rendon and New London Mayor Michael Passero. The cadets will arrive at the beach for a brief program that begins at 3 p.m. on the boardwalk, during which Rendon will introduce the class to the public.
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, Mayor Passero, Rendon and Lt. Cmdr Christian Beisel, executive officer of the U.S. Naval Submarine Base, will address the public. There also will be a medal awards ceremony for wartime vets.
The medal ceremony will include the Korean Ambassador Medal, Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal and Vietnam lapel pin. It is expected that Wyman, Courtney and Ryan McKenna from the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs will present the medals to the qualified recipients.
Immediately following the ceremony, the 102nd Connecticut Army National Guard Jazz Band will entertain on the boardwalk.
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Jeweldeen "Deen" Brown of Oakdale took part in major World War II events such as the Doolittle Raid, the Battle of Midway, the Battle of Peleliu, and several covert missions to the Japanese-occupied Philippines.
"In the next decade, you're going to see $250 million worth of military construction on the base," Capt. Paul Whitescarver said.