CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
A sea of patriots wearing red, white and blue spent hours setting up tents and games on Del Mar Beach here for the Fourth of July Beach Bash.
As live entertainment played and food-trucks served pizza slices and french fries the beach goers barbequed, played in the ocean and shared in the patriotic celebration.
HP, USAA and Ken Grody Ford sponsored the event where they gave $100 to $2,000 in cash prizes, trophies for the most patriotic costumes, and a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi.
“When I got here, I was shocked,” said Lance Cpl. Brittany Burns, a 13-Area guard with Headquarters and Support Battalion here. “I didn’t think that it would be this packed and I didn’t know that they would have this whole set-up.”
Burns, a Maybank, Texas native, said that she and her friends were all enjoying the live music and good company.
“I can’t be home, so when you’ve got friends that are like family it’s good to be with them, especially on a day like today,” said Burns.
Once the music stopped and the sun began to set, a tribute video played across the big-screen. The Marine Corps Community Service’s video featured short clips and photos of service members overseas, deployed and returning home to their families.
After the show, the sky lit up. As the fireworks crackled and popped, couples embraced and friends toasted in celebration.
Capt. Jonathan Mleynek, a team leader with Civil Affairs Battalion of Ft. Bliss, Texas, said that the event exceeded his expectations.
“This is our first Fourth of July event here,” said Mleynek. “We’ve come to Pendleton for the last 8 years on and off. We love the activities that the Marine base provides for families."
For more information on Del Mar Beach events and rentals, visit http://www.mccscp.com.
To watch the 2013 Tribute to Heroes, visit http://vimeo.com.
Contact Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org.