Coast Guard to honor Red Cross, Operation Fireside families at Sunset Parade

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May News
CAPE MAY, N.J. – The Coast Guard will dedicate its July Sunset Parade to the members of the American Red Cross Southern Shore Chapter for their coordination of Operation Fireside Sunday at 8 p.m.

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May will recognize the Red Cross for their more than 31 years of support by placing more than 10,000 recruits with generous families in the community Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Host families from Operation Fireside are also encouraged to attend so they can be recognized for their support during the Sunset Parade.

“Operation Fireside is an outstanding demonstration of support and admiration by the community for our Nation’s servicemembers,” said Capt. Todd Prestidge, commanding officer of Training Center Cape May. “For more than 31 years, the American Red Cross and host families have supported their military by providing a home for holidays, and thededication of this parade the them is our way of saying ‘thank you.’”

Sunset Parades are military displays of marching troops and the Coast Guard Recruit Precision Drill Team. More than 250 recruits will march in the parade and strike the National Ensign from the Parade Field at sunset.

Two Red Cross representatives are scheduled to receive Coast Guard Public Service Awards during the Sunset Parade for their contributions in the program since 2006. Public Service Awards are only presented to individuals who assist in carrying out Coast Guard missions.

The gates of Training Center Cape May will open at 7:30 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to use this time for security screening, parking and seating. Guests should plan on being seated by 8 p.m. Sunset Parades are exciting and fun for the entire family; however, children must be accompanied by an adult throughout the ceremony.

The Coast Guard Recruit Precision Drill Team is the U.S. military’s only recruit precision drill team, and their performances include spinning rifles, complex facing and drill movements, and dangerous rifle tossing routines. The group performs their complicated and precarious routines without verbal commands or cues.

In the event of inclement weather, visitors may call Training Center Cape May’s base information line at (609) 898-6700 for cancellation information.

Visitors should expect increased security screening for the event, and guests will no longer be permitted to bring bags of any kind to the seating area including purses, camera bags, and backpacks. Photography is permitted and encouraged, but cameras must be removed from their bag prior to arriving at the seating area. Guests are encouraged to leave bags in their vehicles during the Pararde.

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