by John Stratton
The spacious dining room of the Mystic Marriott is full with hundreds of uniformed military and their civilian well-wishers, the Navy’s Silver Dolphins post the colors, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy singers open the proceedings with the National Anthem. The Third Annual Military Appreciation Breakfast takes shape on October 19, a testimonial to the importance of the military to life in Southeastern Connecticut and the nation.
The principal sponsors this year are Electric Boat and Dunkin’ Donuts of Gales Ferry, Groton, and Montville, with many more area businesses signing on as supporters of the event. Regional legislators offered personal remarks, including Connecticut’s Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, and U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney. Speakers representing military units in the area included Rear Admiral Richard P. Breckenridge, commander of Submarine Two; Major Gen. Thaddeus J. Martin, adjutant general of the Connecticut National Guard; and Capt. Wes Pulver, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Barque Eagle.
Senator Blumenthal spoke for many when he noted that, “If you spend some time with these warfighters, you will have no doubt that we live in the greatest country in the world.”