MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Montel Williams, a television personality and United States Navy veteran, will serve as Grand Marshal of the 2014 Memorial Day Weekend Parade on Ocean Boulevard in May.
The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 24, and will be the highlight of the month's Military Appreciation Days, a month-long celebration and "thank you" to service men and women, past and present, and their families.
Williams will lead the Ocean Boulevard parade and greet fans at the Military Appreciation Days Picnic. Festivities include military exhibits and live music from the Andrew Thielen Big Band, organizers stated in a news release.
"Committee members sought a celebrity with a military background, and Montel Williams is a dynamic choice," said Mark Kruea, Myrtle Beach's public information officer. "Not only did he serve, but he still supports our veterans and their families, has traveled to Afghanistan to meet with front-line troops, and looks for ways to give back to the military."
The Montel Williams show ran for 17 years, but before that, Williams served in the U.S. military for 15 years of active duty service. He enlisted in the Marines after high school, and went on to Naval Academy Prep School.
He then attended the US Naval Academy with an engineering degree and a minor in International Security Affairs. He began his Navy career as a midshipman, serving in intelligence and cryptology. He rose to the rank of lieutenant, serving in Guam, California, Maryland, and three years aboard submarines.
He received two Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals and other citations.
For more information on Military Appreciation Days, and to submit an entry for the Memorial Day Weekend Parade, visit: www.militaryappreciationdays.com