Military festival goes green in NMB

North Myrtle Beach, SC - NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - An area celebration recognizing some of the nation's bravest will be powered entirely with Santee Cooper Green Power, officials announced Friday.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade Association will be celebrating its 2010 reunion on June 3 with a salute to veterans, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Horseshoe on Main Street. The event will feature live music and a tribute to World War II veterans.

The salute begins with a street festival featuring heavy military equipment including tanks, howitzer cannons, AH-1 Cobra helicopters, Humvees and more. At 6 p.m., the Black Team of the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute squad will land on the beach directly behind the Main Street stage.

At 6:30 p.m. a special presentation will honor five WWII veterans from the U.S. Army's 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment. The U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus is scheduled to perform at 7:15 p.m., and country music's Cimmaron will take the stage at 8:30 p.m.

Santee Cooper generates 21 megawatts of renewable Green Power from clean, renewable energy sources including landfill biogas and solar power. It became the first utility in South Carolina to generate Green Power when it opened the Horry County Landfill Generating Station in 2001.

"Our veterans have been protecting the American way of life for more than 200 years, and for Santee Cooper to be associated with an event that will honor them in such a fashion is its own reward," Marc Tye said, Santee Cooper vice president of conservation and renewable energy. "When an organization like the 173rd Airborne Brigade Association purchases renewable power, that money is fully reinvested in new or expanded Green Power generation by Santee Cooper. I offer my humble appreciation for their service to our country and their commitment to our environment."

The 173rd Airborne Brigade is an airborne infantry brigade combat team of the U.S. Army based in Vicenza, Italy. Activated in 1915 as the 173rd Infantry Brigade, the unit saw service in World War I but is best known for its actions during the Vietnam War. T

he brigade was the first major U.S. Army ground formation deployed in Vietnam. Serving between 1965 and 1971, the brigade lost almost 1,800 soldiers and received more than 7,700 decorations, including 6,000 Purple Hearts.

Inactivated in 1972, the 173rd Airborne was reactivated in 2000 and has served three tours of the Middle East.

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