21st Annual Military Gala & Banquet

Brian Cizek, Director or Patriotic activities at College of the Ozarks
 was the evening's Master of Ceremonies.

LTC Tony Monetti, USAF (Ret) was the President of the Mess, and Special
Forces veteran, LTC Jim Rougeau, USA (Ret) was Chaplain.

Cadets from C of O's ROTC program, conducted the POW/MIA White Table service.

Toasts are done with water during the POW/MIA service, as our POW/MIAs have no wine, and water is a luxury.

With a special place near the stage, the Missouri POW/MIA Christmas tree had a dog tag,
with names, for those still missing from the state of Missouri.

Guests enjoyed a full dinner, along with entertainment.

We celebrate and recognize all the Branches of Service,
but there is a traditional Marine Corps Birthday Cake Cutting.

Marine Corps veterans and active duty Marines join in the special Birthday ceremony.

And yes,  yellow footprints mark the spot.

The oldest and youngest Marines received an Anniversary K-bar.

Willard High School's JROTC's Armed Exhibition Team, asks permission to perform.

The  crowd enjoyed a exhilarating performance - and the rifles were
never dropped.

The Brett's entertained to the delight of attendees.

A special tribute by Briahna to our troops.

Brydon's comedy kept all amused - and he never missed a punchline.

Fireworks during intermission were provided by A.M. Pyrotechnics / Aaron Mayfield -
a sponsor for many years.

The annual Captain John Koutrakas Patriotism Award recognizes only   those who have given far beyond any ordinary expectations and truly make an impact on our work.

United States Marine Corps veteran, and past State Commander for the
American Legion Department of Missouri, Betty Gonzales,
was the 2018 award recipient.

American Legion Department of Missouri State Adjutant, Lowry Finley-Jackson, Army Master Sgt retired,  received a Quilt of Valor.

Betty also received a Quilt of Valor.

American Legion Department of Missouri, was well represented by
Lowry Finley-Jackson, Betty Gonzales, and the State's Sgt at Arms,
Darlene Coats.