Twentynine Palms -- The 15th annual We Salute You Celebration took place at Victory Field aboard the Combat Center, on May 12, 2018.
We Salute You is a free event that provides a concert as well as games and activities for members of the Combat Center community. This year, Canaan Smith and Runaway June were both featured at the concert. The event also boasted a Family Fun Zone which included a 35-foot slide, numerous bounce houses, interactive games, stations for temporary glitter tattoos and balloon swords.
Rachael Pennington, special events program manager, Marine Corps Community Services, provided insight as to what was different about this event from the previous years.
“We’re excited to say that the artists this year are some of our Marines’ favorite bands,” Pennington said. “We have all new food vendors, and the kids have so many activities to participate in while their parents enjoy the raffles.”
The participating artists spoke about how grateful they are for the service members they performed for at the event. One member of the band Runaway June has had family members in each generation serve in the Marine Corps.
“I come from a long line of Marines in my family,” said Naomi Cooke, artist, Runaway June. “We love our military men and women. Anything we can do in any way to support them, entertain them or be there for them makes us very excited.”
Canaan Smith, a country music artist, talked about how he felt about Marines and their sacrifice for their country, and how that respect influenced his decision to perform at the We Salute You event.
“When I think about people who are the most self-sacrificing, I think of our military,” Smith said. “They don’t even know us, and yet they’re willing to protect us. To be at this show and play for them was a no-brainer.”