Ninth Annual ‘Honor Day’ Paid Tribute to Active US Service Members and Veterans

Members of the US Army's 3rd Infantry Regiment, known as the "Old Guard," participated in the Honor Day program's "Fallen Comrade Table" toast for POWs and MIAs.

FARMINGDALE, NJ—(SBN)—Cheered on by about 200 middle school and high school students from around Monmouth County, approximately 50 active US service members from Fleet Week arrived via bus from New York for Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club’s 9th Annual Honor Day, and enjoyed a round of golf and a dinner in their honor, while the students got to explore military career opportunities.

You can watch a video news report about the Honor Day program in the player below.

The children tried on paratrooper jump gear, combat equipment, and participated in demonstrations of I-Robotics (EOD) {explosive ordinance robotics}; contingency response group communications; air traffic control; aviation management; Coast Guard aviation; Cost Guard HAZMAT response team; Coast Guard Special Operation Boat & Civil Affairs Team; Chemical, Biological; Radiation; Nuclear; Explosive (CBRNE) Recon, Decon and Testing; Honor Guard; Military Intelligence; Cyber Warfare Unit, Military Police; Multifunctional Medicine Team; Physical Fitness-Rock Wall; and STEM Asset Experience (AS7). The students also wrote get-well cards to soldiers (hosted by Hope For the Warriors).

The day-long celebration had three segments (educational; golf tournament and VIP banquet) of which raised the most ever in nine years – over $200,000 for national nonprofit, Hope For The Warriors. Domenic Gatto, chairman and president of the country club, coordinated the planning committee’s efforts, led by Joseph J. Cary, managing director, KeyBanc Capital Markets. Hope for the Warriors provides support for transition, health and wellness, peer engagement and connection for military service members, post 9/11 veterans and military families.

“The profound loss after 9/11 deepened my appreciation for those in my family and others who work so hard to protect us domestically and abroad,” says Cary. “Subsequently, I started taking out 20-30 US service members for dinner during Fleet Week with a friend as a gesture of thanks. Our simple appreciation was the brainchild for Honor Day. It took a village to build the event into its present significance, and now we have community support, and, the involvement of Hope For The Warriors, which carries out important programming for military service members and their families.”

LTC Edward Croot, US Army Mid-Atlantic States Recruiting Battalion Commander

LTC Edward Croot, US Army Mid-Atlantic States Recruiting Battalion Commander

“We are here not only to honor our active service members and veterans, but also our fallen heroes,” explained Lt. Col. Edward Croot, keynote speaker at the dinner. “The table in the middle of the banquet room is set for one, signifying the daily freedom we have is brought to you by the person who is not sitting there.” The Fallen Comrade Table, set with a white tablecloth, is in remembrance of prisoners of war and those missing in action. The tradition began with a group of fighter pilots who flew in Vietnam and is the focal point of ceremonial remembrance, which continues today for those who serve. The service ball featured a narration by participating service members explaining what each item represented.