CAMP SHELBY, MS. - Camp Shelby officials celebrated the camp's 100 year anniversary Thursday evening at the Lake Terrace Convention Center.
Renowned veteran war correspondent and highly acclaimed co-author of "We Were Soldiers Once…And Young," Joe Galloway delivered the keynote address during the gala.
“We are honored for an individual, who is held in such high regard globally, to be joining us for a special night of celebration and recognition. Camp Shelby’s centennial marks a milestone in our history, and the American Solider has always been at the forefront of our operations" said Col. Greg Michel, Camp Shelby commander.
Galloway said, "I spent over 40 years going to cover Americans in war with four tours in Vietnam. And my last combat tour was in 2005 to 2006 in Iraq.”
Galloway is the only citizen awarded the Bronze Star for Valor for saving the lives of soldiers during the Ia Drang Valley Conflict in 1965.
Col. Michel said, "Through his writing and reporting, Mr. Galloway’s life work has given a remarkable amount of exposure to the valor and sacrifice of American Soldiers. To share this evening with him, along with distinguished veterans and our many comrades and sponsors, is a truly extraordinary opportunity."
“So I have seen two or three generations of Americans soldiers and marines at war, and they are some of my favorite people" said Galloway.
Officials also celebrated the history of Camp Shelby. “This camp was established to handle soldier’s deploying overseas for World War I, and they thought it was a good idea, so they did it in World War II" said MS Adjutant General Janson Boyles.
He added, "And more recently it’s been using it for the global war of terrorism, so we have been using it, supporting those deployments in the past 15 years.”
Colonel Michel said although 100 year seems like a lifetime, Camp Shelby will continue to stand strong.
“It will continue to provide a vital role, in preparing men and women in defending this nation" he said.
Camp Shelby will also host a Centennial Celebration at the base’s Mississippi Armed Forces Museum Saturday, July 15, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be free and open to the public.