Military Appreciation Days
For nearly 50 years, Myrtle Beach was a military town. First, it was home to the U.S. Army Air Corps in the 1940s, and then to the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base in the 1950s. The United States Air Force closed the base in 1993, and the property has since been transformed into the Market Common District. To observe our city’s military history, Myrtle Beach Military Appreciation Days celebrates those who have served our great nation. The month-long celebration in May features various free events, including a JROTC Drill Competition, parade with Grand Marshal and picnic!
2022 LIST OF EVENTS and MILITARY APPRECIATION PARADE
To learn more about each event and view photos, see our Military Appreciation Events webpage. Entries are being accepted now for this year’s Military Appreciation Parade on Saturday, May 28. Interested groups, businesses and marching bands are invited to participate. Here are the registration forms:
APPLICATIONS, DOCUMENTS & FORMS
The following forms are available in the “Military Appreciation Days” folder on the Documents Center webpage:
- Parade Registration Form
- Marching Band Registration Form
- General Exhibit and Volunteer Information
- Exhibit/Display Request Form
- Colonel Robert Hawkins Veteran Volunteer Service Award Nomination Form
- Grand Marshal Announcement - Rocky Bleier
OUR MILITARY HISTORY: SPLINTER CITY
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and the United States’ entry into World War II, the United States Army Air Corps opened formal operations in March 1942 at the Myrtle Beach Bombing and Gunnery Training Range. The facility encompassed the Myrtle Beach Airport. Construction began to meet the urgent needs for combat air crew training and a “wooden city,” affectionately known as “Splinter City,” began to take shape in the form of offices, barracks, a hospital and various maintenance and training facilities. Some of the facilities were used in 1943 to house German prisoners of World War II.
Splinter City, of course, evolved to become the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, playing a primary role in the Vietnam and Gulf Wars. In 1985, the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base was Horry County’s largest employer, accounting for 25 percent of the county’s payroll then. At the time, the base population included 3,500 military personnel, 500 civilians and 5,200 dependents.
The United States Air Force closed the base in Myrtle Beach in 1993, and the property has since been transformed into the Market Common District, complete with an urban town center known as The Market Common, a Grand Park that features open space, Warbird Park, the Wall of Service, recreation fields, a large lake and more. The Market Common area also features streets named for people who were involved in the base’s history and its redevelopment.
NOMINATE A VETERAN: COLONEL ROBERT HAWKINS VETERAN VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD
Nomination forms are now available for the city’s Military Appreciation Committee’s annual Colonel Robert Hawkins Veteran Volunteer Service Award! The late Bob Hawkins, a retired U.S. Army colonel and key volunteer behind Myrtle Beach's Military Appreciation Days, is remembered with this award. The award recognizes a person for their volunteer services to a veterans group, an individual veteran, veterans’ families and/or the greater Grand Strand veterans’ community. To download the nomination form, which includes submission directions, see the “Military Appreciation Days” folder on the Documents Center webpage.
MILITARY DISCOUNT DECALS FOR GRAND STRAND BUSINESS COMMUNITY
The Military Appreciation Committee and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce created static cling decals for businesses to post. The decals let customers know that the business offers a discount for current and former military personnel. Myrtle Beach was home to a military base for nearly 50 years, and the city’s Military Appreciation Days Committee thought the decals would be a good way to remind everyone that the Myrtle Beach area is still very military-friendly.
If your business offers military discounts, you may pick up a free military static cling decal to display. Decals are available at the following locations….
- Myrtle Beach City Hall, 937 Broadway Street
- Business License Division, City Services Building, 921 North Oak Street
- Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, 1200 North Oak Street