ALBANY, Ga. -- Four young Marines were honored by the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Wednesday morning at a special Military Appreciation Breakfast held at Doublegate Country Club.
Artesian Construction President Glenn Sinquefield -- whose company, along with General Dynamics and A West Electrical, sponsored the event -- summed up the area's feelings toward the sprawling Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.
"The base and its Marines are the crown jewel of Albany," Sinquefield said in his opening remarks. "We all sleep well at night knowing you guys are on the wall."
Leland Burkart, the Chamber's 2011 Military Affairs Committee chairman, recognized the base's NCO/Marines of the Quarter and the Marine of the Year for Logistics Command awards.
"It is always a privilege to recognize the fine Marines we have in our community," Burkart said. "We have continued to be blessed by the local, national and international support the MCLB-Albany has provided over the 50 years of its existence."
Those honored were Sgt. Jessica L. Hall as the Logistics Command NCO of the Quarter; Cpl. Ricky W. Louidor, MCLB Marine of the Year; Cpl. Jonathon Simeon, MCLB NCO of the Quarter, and Cpl. Drew Adams MCLB Marine of the Quarter.
MCLB Commanding Officer Col. Terry Williams then stepped up to the podium.
"Albany is the best place I have served where the local community has totally embraced the military," Williams said. "As you know we have a new commandant, Gen. James F. Amos, who has laid out a plan for the best trained and equipped Marines for fighting. We're a part of that mission. We are ready, responsive and we pack a punch.
"We are well worth the price."
Williams added that economic realities and the changing nature of warfare will shape how the Corps will look in the future.
"Thirty-one percent of the of the ground troops in the DOD (Department of Defense) are Marines," Williams said. "We are going to see a future reduction in strength from nearly 220,000 to around 186,000 and we can manage at that level.
The MCLB commanding officer then spoke to the local level.
"We are the premier depot in the country," he said. "We're the go-to-depot for everybody and Logicom reaches all across the world. Locally we have a full-scale force protection exercise, an anti-terror exercise upcoming with first responders from Albany. This will be helpful because we don't want to be exchanging business cards during a time of crisis."
Williams closed by talking about the special relationship between the MCLB and Albany.
"This week many of our Marines will be participating in Read Across America at some local elementary schools," Williams said. "I love it when I see a Marine in uniform reading Dr. Seuss to a bunch of kids.
"I want the community to know that we appreciate everything you do for the Marines, sailors and the base. Thank you, we appreciate it."