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Military Appreciation Days

OVERVIEW

For nearly 50 years, Myrtle Beach was a military town.  First, it was home to the U.S. Army Air Corps in the 1940s, and then to the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base in the 1950s.  The United States Air Force closed the base in 1993, and the property has since been transformed into the Market Common District.  To observe our city’s military history, Myrtle Beach Military Appreciation Days celebrates those who have served our great nation.  The month-long celebration in May features various free events, including a JROTC Drill Competition, parade with Grand Marshal and picnic!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Military Appreciation events are planned by the City of Myrtle Beach's Military Appreciation Committee, an ad hoc committee open to all interested individuals with a passion for our United States military.  Below is the list of upcoming events.  Questions?  For information, call 843-918-1054.

  • Myrtle Beach Pelicans’ Military Card Set Nominations – Submission Deadline is Wednesday, March 20, 2024, https://linktr.ee/MyrtleBeachPelicans
  • Colonel Robert Hawkins Veteran Volunteer Service Award – Application Deadline is Monday, April 1, 2024, https://www.cityofmyrtlebeach.com/HawkinsAward.pdf
  • Horry County Junior ROTC Drill Meet – 9:00 a.m., Saturday, May 4, 2024, Pelicans Stadium Parking Lot, 1251 21st Avenue North
  • Military Family Members Social – 12:00 p.m., Saturday, May 4, 2024, Pelicans Stadium Parking Lot, 1251 21st Avenue North
  • Myrtle Beach Pelicans’ Military Appreciation Night (Pelicans vs. Augusta) – 6:05 p.m. Game Time, Saturday, May 11, 2024, Pelicans Stadium, 1251 21st Avenue North (Card Set Veterans Recognized Prior to Game)
  • Military Appreciation Days Parade and Grand Marshals (Honorary and Official) – 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 25, 2024, Farrow Parkway, The Market Common
  • Family Picnic – 11:30 a.m., Saturday, May 25, 2024, Valor Memorial Garden, 1120 Farrow Parkway
  • Jack Platt Veterans’ March with Battlefield Cross Ceremony – 9:00 a.m., Monday, May 27, 2024, Along Ocean Boulevard, 16th to Ninth Avenues North
  • Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony – 11:00 a.m., Monday, May 27, 2024, Myrtle Beach Convention Center, 2101 North Oak Street
  • Military Documentary – Monday, May 27, 2024, Grand 14 Cinema, 4002 DeVille Street
  • MOAA Col. Francis A. Esposito (Ret.) Golf Tournament –Wednesday, May 29, 2024, Blackmoor Golf Club in Murrells Inlet (Click here to learn more.)
  • Festive Brass Concert Performance – May 2024 (TBD), Ballroom ABC, Myrtle Beach Convention Center, 2101 North Oak Street
  • Veterans Day Ceremony 11:00 a.m., Monday, November 11, 2024, Myrtle Beach Convention Center, 2101 North Oak Street
  • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremony – Saturday, December 7, 2024, WWII Memorial at Warbird Park, 150 Farrow Parkway

GRAND MARSHAL

Military Appreciation Days is sponsored by the City of Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, with assistance from many local groups and organizations.  The Military Appreciation Committee looks for a celebrity with a military background to serve as Grand Marshal for the annual parade.  Previous Grand Marshals have included John McCain, Buzz Aldrin, Rocky Bleier, J. R. Martinez, Montel Williams, Noah Galloway, Alex Skarlatos, DeShauna Barber and Keni Thomas. 

NOMINATE A VETERAN:  COLONEL ROBERT HAWKINS VETERAN VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD

Nomination forms are now available for the city’s Military Appreciation Committee’s annual Colonel Robert Hawkins Veteran Volunteer Service Award!  The late Bob Hawkins, a retired U.S. Army colonel and key volunteer behind Myrtle Beach's Military Appreciation Days, is remembered with this award.  The award recognizes a person for their volunteer services to a veterans group, an individual veteran, veterans’ families and/or the greater Grand Strand veterans’ community.  To download the nomination form, which includes submission directions, see the “Military Appreciation Days” folder on the Documents Center webpage.

OUR MILITARY HISTORY:  SPLINTER CITY

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and the United States’ entry into World War II, the United States Army Air Corps opened formal operations in March 1942 at the Myrtle Beach Bombing and Gunnery Training Range.  The facility encompassed the Myrtle Beach Airport.  Construction began to meet the urgent needs for combat air crew training and a “wooden city,” affectionately known as “Splinter City,” began to take shape in the form of offices, barracks, a hospital and various maintenance and training facilities.  Some of the facilities were used in 1943 to house German prisoners of World War II.

MBAFB GateSplinter City, of course, evolved to become the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, playing a primary role in the Vietnam and Gulf Wars.  In 1985, the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base was Horry County’s largest employer, accounting for 25 percent of the county’s payroll then.  At the time, the base population included 3,500 military personnel, 500 civilians and 5,200 dependents.   

The United States Air Force closed the base in Myrtle Beach in 1993, and the property has since been transformed into the Market Common District, complete with an urban town center known as The Market Common, a Grand Park that features open space, Warbird Park, the Wall of Service, recreation fields, a large lake and more.  The Market Common area also features streets named for people who were involved in the base’s history and its redevelopment. 

APPLICATIONS, DOCUMENTS & FORMS

The forms listed below are available in the “Military Appreciation Days” folder on the Documents Center webpage.

  • Parade Registration Form
  • Marching Band Registration Form
  • General Exhibit and Volunteer Information
  • Exhibit/Display Request Form
  • Colonel Robert Hawkins Veteran Volunteer Service Award Nomination Form