BY LYNN WITKOWSKI, APG News
5:51 PM EDT, May 8, 2012
Aberdeen Proving Ground will host an Armed Forces Day Celebration on the grounds of the APG Museum on Wednesday, May 16, as part of Armed Forces Week, May 14-19.
APG's Armed Forces Week theme, "Heroes on the Home Front," recognizes local heroes, both military and civilian.
In keeping with the theme, members of the on- and off-post community will be honored as "Hometown Heroes."
"This gives us a chance to honor our local heroes and recognize them in a public forum," said Capt. Malikah McCormick, commander, APG Garrison HHC and coordinator for the Armed Forces Week events.
McCormick said a hero will be honored at each Armed Forces Week event.
Armed Forces Day activities begin at 9 a.m. on the 16th when visitors and guests can look at military exhibits, equipment and vehicles used by today's soldiers.
Opening ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. with remarks by Maj. Gen. Robert S. Ferrell, installation commander and commander, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command.
Students from Harford and Cecil counties will attend as part of APG's School Partnership Program. Many of the students attended last year and are looking forward to the event again this year.
"From the feedback I've received, the students really enjoyed themselves last year, and asked to come back," said Stacy Umbarger, APG acting school liaison officer.
Umbarger said Chapel Hill Elementary School's fifth-grade choir will sing "America the Beautiful," and Southampton Middle School's eighth-grade band will perform an Armed Forces medley.
Guests can enjoy the sounds of The Volunteers, the U.S. Army's premier touring show band, who will play a blend of popular and patriotic music.
Leftstronger, a Baltimore-area band, is scheduled to entertain the crowd with original music in the style of Alice in Chains, Shinedown, Creed and Soundgarden.
Freestate ChalleNGe cadets will entertain the audience with a drill competition where randomly picked members of the audience can serve as judges and grade the cadets on their performances.
"The cadets will be organized into three platoons," said Col. (Ret.) Richard E. "Thunder" Young, academy director. "There will be two competitions - a standard drill and an exhibition where they will be doing more theatrics."
Young said each platoon will compete against each other and, if time allows, the competition will go into a "knock out" where individual cadets will compete.
Other demonstrations will include explosive ordnance disposal, decontamination examples, a helicopter demonstration and a K9 demonstration.
A variety of foods will be offered by 1SG BBQ, Tim's Treats and Big Boy's, as well as plenty of activities for children, including a live wildlife exhibit, a Kiddy Corner, McGruff the Crime Fighting Dog, D.A.R.E. activities and fire fighting displays.
Armed Forces Week officially begins May 14 with an Armed Forces Day Golf Tournament at Ruggles Golf Course. A continental breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. and play begins with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. For more information, call 410-278-4794.
Local veterans will be honored at a luncheon at Top of the Bay on May 15. Any veteran is welcome to attend. To register, call 410-278-3000.
On May 17, Harford County Chamber of Commerce will host the Military Appreciation Luncheon at Richlin Ballroom. For more information on the luncheon, call 410-838-2020.
The celebration concludes on May 19 with a morning 10K Run at 8 a.m. and a 2 Mile Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. starting at the APG Athletic Center. To register, call 410-278-7933.
At 1 p.m., a Live Fire and Military Equipment Display begins at APG's Main Front firing range. For more information call 410-278-4715.
To attend Armed Forces Day, visitors without a government ID must use the Maryland Boulevard (Route 715) gate off Route 40 to enter the installation. Visitors 16 and older must have a photo ID and drivers must present a valid driver's license and vehicle registration.
For more information call the APG Public Affairs Office at 410-278-1151 or 410-278-1147.