Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Seth Coulter
OLYMPIA, Wash. (NNS) – More than 400 service members and civilians celebrated the 52nd annual Foofaraw Military Appreciation day Friday Sept. 5, in Olympia, Wash.
Members of the military were whisked away by Captains of the Olympia Yacht Club (OYC) to their private island “Island Home” for a day of food, fun and relaxation. Foofaraw is held to show appreciation for the active duty service members within the Puget Sound area.
“It’s such an amazing thing they put on for us, using their own food and resources to commemorate what we do,” said Army Specialist Harris Wesh, of 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), at Joint Base Lewis McCord. “The hospitality of these people has just been simply amazing.”
Wesh rode aboard the “Life of Riley”, a 40-foot yacht owned by OYC members Lindsey and Mike Fleischer.
“It is our first time joining this event since we have joined and were honored to be a part of it,” explained Lindsey. “We have a long standing history with my family being in the military and my husband Mike was a part of the National Guard.”
Once arriving to the island guests were treated to a plethora of food, including a traditional salmon BBQ provided by the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis in conjunction with the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, and a large raffle for active duty personnel only.
“When you go active duty you keep your family close at heart, we would like you to think of us that way as well,” said Myra Downing, Commodore of the OYC. “This day is for you to relax and forget about work for just a little while.”
The event shows that there is a deep appreciation for the active duty military within the Puget Sound area.