On August 16, the Chamber held its Military Recognition Reception at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott from 3-5pm. This event, held twice each year, honors more than 100 military personnel from local commands. The service members were joined at the reception by their families, military leadership, elected officials, and businessmen and women from the region.
Guest speaker Dr. Tony Atwater, President of Norfolk State University, provided a speech titled, “Lessons Learned as a Military Brat.” He explained to the audience that he’d grown up in a military family and lived on numerous bases in Japan, Europe and the U.S. During the time his father served for 22 years, Atwater learned much during this time, saying, “All of these experiences have served me well in life.”
Atwater shared six lessons with the crowd:
Lesson 1: When you travel around the world, you discover that America is the greatest country in the world.
Lesson 2: Positive impact of family is a support of young people growing up. He discussed the high standards of education the military has in place for dependents. Lesson 3: Discipline and high standards of performance are important in achieving high goals. He explained that military life teaches you this.
Lesson 4: Appreciation for diversity.
Lesson 5: Humans around the world have more in common than we think.
Lesson 6: Freedom is not really free. It comes with a price.
Atwater went onto say, “I salute each fighting man and woman in the audience who preserves our freedom.” He added, “You deserve our thanks and gratitude for making America great.”
The Chamber thanks the volunteers of its Armed Forces Committee who help to make this event successful. Many thanks to sponsors: City of Norfolk (Gold); Norfolk Waterside Marriott (Host); GEICO (Gold Military Program Partner & Challenge Coin); Cox Communications (Media); Pioneer Services (Silver Military Program Partner); Bank of America, First Command Financial Planning, Regent University and Saint Leo University-South Hampton Roads Center (Bronze Military Program Partners); Hampton Roads Military & Federal Facilities Alliance and Hampton University Army ROTC (Special Military Program Partners); Strayer University-Chesapeake, USAA, and USA Discounters (Silver); ECPI, Hampton Roads Magazine, Norfolk State University and Tidewater Community College (Bronze).