Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Sea Cadets Jackson Oliverson, David Stasel and Andrew Taylor enjoy food served at Saturday’s Military Appreciation Picnic.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Sea Cadets Jackson Oliverson, David Stasel and Andrew Taylor enjoy food served at Saturday’s Military Appreciation Picnic.

Military picnic a thank you for those serving, who served

The threat of rain didn’t stop people from attending Oak Harbor’s 18th annual Military Appreciation Picnic, with vendors, free Alabama-style BBQ and picnic food, activities for children and live music, all in a show of support for the local military.

“Believe me, not only today do we appreciate what you do for us but every day of the year we appreciate you more than you know,” Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severns said to the crowd that gathered on Saturday.

“You are not only our friends and our neighbors, but you do the most important thing that government is about and that is protection and providing a good, safe place to live.”

Recently appointed commanding officer of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Capt. Matthew Arny, was in attendance and said he believes that Oak Harbor is good at showing its appreciation of the military.

Steve Bristow, president of the Navy League of Oak Harbor, said the best part of being at the picnic was seeing the community come together.

“It’s so easy to have separate lives,” he said. “(This picnic) is an open environment that allows for clean family fun.”

For children, there was a bubble machine, face painting and a slime-making station.

The Orion Squadron Sea Cadets presented the flags at the start of the military appreciation picnic on Saturday.

The Orion Squadron Sea Cadets presented the flags at the start of the military appreciation picnic on Saturday.

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