The 48th year of the San Antonio Chamber’s Celebrate America’s Military events kicked off on Tuesday morning with the first ever CAM Prayer Breakfast honoring Military Chaplains. The event, sponsored by Deloitte, was the first of a two-week long celebration designed to thank the men and women who serve in the Military.
The event began with opening remarks, which included a moment of silence for the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, as well as an invocation presented by former Air Force Chief of Chaplains Howard “H” Stendahl, Major General Retired. Following the invocation, Active Duty Chaplains from the Army, Navy, and Air Force representing the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faiths provided remarks on sacrifice and the importance of spirituality. More than 100 business, community and military members gathered to pay respect to the selfless sacrifice of the Military Chaplains. Keynote speaker David Reid, executive director of the Robert Irvine Foundation, highlighted the role of faith and the impact of our Military Chaplains on our military members and veterans. The event concluded with a closing benediction given by Dr. Ben Craver of Wayland Baptist University.
The following day, the Chamber hosted the second annual CAM Tip-Off Exhibition Basketball Game, sponsored by Boeing. The event, held at Morgan’s Wonderland, provided the opportunity for event sponsors to play wheelchair basketball alongside disabled veterans from ParaSports and Morgan’s Wonderland STRAPS (South Texas Regional Adaptive and Paralympic Sports) programs. Texas A&M San Antonio’s mascot “General” the Jaguar and the University of Texas at San Antonio’s “Rowdy” the Roadrunner helped energize both the crowd and the players. Overall, the event is intended to celebrate the spirit and resiliency of those wounded in military service and civilians who face daunting physical challenges, but overcome all obstacles to succeed.
Speakers included Gordon Hartman, founder of Morgan’s Wonderland; Jay Galloway, Boeing Site Leader; and Brigadier General George Appenzeller, Brooke Army Medical Center Commander. The halftime highlights were special remarks by the Mayor of San Antonio, Ron Nirenberg, and a special appearance by our very own hometown Spurs Coyote. The event has transformed into a fun opportunity to connect our caregivers, the wounded warriors, and the community of “Military City USA” which stands alongside them in support.
More events can be found on our website, www.celebrateamericasmilitary.com or through our downloaded app provided by USAA, available on the app store as San Antonio Chamber of Commerce – CAM Guide.