PORTSMOUTH – Seacoast Salutes, a military appreciation day held Sunday on the grounds of Redhook, was well attended in spite of a rainy start.
The event was hosted by local radio celebrity Greg Kretschmar of WHEB’s Greg and the Morning Buzz. It was sponsored by Service Credit Union, along with co-sponsors Redhook and Long Term Care Partners. Various military and non-military booths offered information and services in the Seacoast areas. There was entertainment for all ages, and great food provided by local restaurants.
“Seacoast Salutes is a subcommittee of the Military Assistance Foundation and Service Credit Union has always been proudly involved,” said Aimee Sundstrom, marketing manager for SCU. “We love to help the military and this event is a great opportunity for servicemen and civilians to get together, to have fun and to get to know each other. Many people are not aware that these may be their neighbors and we think it’s great to make that connection.”
Starting the day was an effort by several teams to pull a 33,000-pound tank, uphill and then downhill.
“We had four teams, iHeart media, Portsmouth Police Department, Service Credit Union and the Navy Junior ROTC of Dover High School,” said Sundstrom. “There were two competitions, going uphill and going downhill. Uphill, iHeart went first and the tank was not going to move. So it kind of became an all in task and we moved it.”
Downhill proved easier. Sundstrom said all four teams were able to pull downhill. In the end though it was Service Credit Union that took top bragging rights, beating out the Portsmouth Police by mere seconds.
“We raised $1,000 on the competition,” said Sundstrom. “Half will go to the Enlisted Association of New Hampshire and half to the National Guard Association.
There were a few short speeches, the first by Gov. Chris Sununu, who thanked SCU and its partners for all that they do to support the military.
Service Credit Union CEO David Rossum thanked the military people for all they have done for our country. He asked for a moment of remembrance for all military personnel who could not be present.
New Hampshire’s newly appointed Adjutant General David Mikolaites said he loved the event.
“If you are a veteran, we can say thank you for your service,” said Mikolaites. “If you are not, then we can say thank you for volunteering to help make this happen.
Carol Protzman, retired brigadier general, chairs the Seacoast Salutes Committee said anytime that people gather to celebrate veterans and their families is a good day.
“It’s important to recognize how valuable our servicemen are,” said Protzman. “This is an opportunity to say thank you, but also to enjoy some good food and have fun. We have some great partners who came together to make this happen.”
“This is an amazing day,” said Kretschmar. “Whenever we can get together, feel good and share our appreciation for the military, how can you go wrong? This is about doing the right thing for the right reason, not to be recognized, but just because it is the right thing to do.”