Coast Guardsmen attend Camden County Coast Guard Community celebration

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ST. MARYS, Ga. — Members of the Coast Guard were the distinguished guests during a picnic and community celebration held in St. Marys Saturday to recognize Camden County’s designation as the nation’s first Coast Guard community.

Coast Guard cities and communities are those that have gone above and beyond to ensure the Coast Guard members in their regions feel welcome and at home while assigned there.

Coast Guardsmen, their families and members of the community tour Coast Guard vessels on display during the Camden County Coast Guard Community Celebration Day in St. Marys, Georgia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. The event was held to celebrate Camden County's designation as the nation's first Coast Guard community. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)

Coast Guardsmen, their families and members of the community tour Coast Guard vessels on display during the Camden County Coast Guard Community Celebration Day in St. Marys, Georgia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen

Members of The Camden Partnership, a St. Marys-based civilian organization aiming to strengthen military and community partnerships, applied for the designation August 2012 and began planning the waterfront community celebration after learning February 5, 2014, the designation was awarded.

Georgia’s governor, Nathan Deal, officially designated May 17, 2014, as Coast Guard Community Celebration Day, and the proclamation announcing so was read during the festivities. Sheila McNeill, president of The Camden Partnership, briefly described to those in attendance what the designation meant and how unique it was.

“We will forever be the first Coast Guard community,” she said. “There may be more in the future, but we’ll always be the first.”

While 15 other cities around the country have earned the congressional designation as Coast Guard cities, Camden County is the first region to earn the distinction and includes the cities of Kingsland, St. Marys and Woodbine.

Click the photo for more from the celebration.

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