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Community showcases destinations, services
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Fort Morris State Historic Site Ranger Arthur Edgar tells a soldier about the Revolutionary War fort on the coast in Liberty County. - photo by Photo by Denise Etheridge
Even with most 3rd ID soldiers deployed, a large crowd of service members, military spouses and dependents and retirees wound through a maze of exhibitors’ booths Friday during the fall Community Showcase at Club Stewart on Fort Stewart.
The showcase’s 64 participants offered military families information on upcoming events, destination getaways, local recreational activities and support services available in the region. Participants included local school systems, resorts, state parks, county and city governments, law enforcement, military support groups, civic organizations and even a puppeteer with Angela Beasley’s Puppet People.
“I like when they offer you something different,” said Charm Reed, wife of a retired soldier. Reed casually pushed her adopted granddaughter, Akira Beach, 15 months, in a stroller, picking up commissary coupons and learning about discounts on recreational opportunities.
Earlier in the day, an executive session of the Regional Information Sharing Forum was held at Club Stewart prior to the showcase. Fort Stewart spokesperson Kevin Larson said Fort Stewart’s commanders and county and city leaders discussed a timeline for the redeployment of thousands of 3rd Infantry Div ision soldiers and upcoming area events.
Jeanie Shugart from the City of St. Marys manned a booth promoting her hometown and an event close to her heart.
“St. Marys has had a Wounded Warrior Day for four years,” Shugart said. “This is the third year they’ve had Fort Stewart soldiers and their families participate.”
The observance will be held on Nov. 6, the Saturday before Veterans Day, she said.
Arthur Edgar, state park site manager for Fort Morris, and Vickie Slack with the Department of Natural Resources presented the many offerings available at Georgia’s state parks.
Edgar said Georgia’s state parks will offer free admission on Sept. 25. He said the area’s state parks, including Fort Morris and Fort McCallister, used to get 10,000 to 15,000 visitors each year before budget cutbacks were made in June 2009.
“The budget has hit Fort Morris and we’re only open three days a week,” he said. “We still get a fair amount of visitors, including soldiers.”
Military spouse Monique Myers made the rounds at the showcase with 14-month old son Gideon and daughter Riley, 4, in tow.
“My fall break is coming up and I’m trying to find things to do with the kids,” Myers said. She added she was gathering hotel information so she and her husband, who  is deployed with the 1st Heavy Combat Brigade, can plan a family trip to Sea World upon his return.
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