Celebrate America’s Military 2023: Honoring the past, the present, and the future of our armed forces

  • Published
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

San Antonio has been home to a consistent military presence for nearly 300 years. It’s why it is called "Military City USA."

The city has one of the nation's largest active and retired military populations. Joint Base San Antonio educates more Department of Defense students than any other installation. It hosts the largest concentration of cyber and Intelligence communities second only to the National Capital Region in Washington, D.C.,

JBSA oversees more active runways than any other installation, houses the DOD's largest hospital and only level one trauma center, and supports more than 565,000 personnel who live and work in four counties and​ four Congressional districts.

​The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce proudly hosts the 53rd Anniversary of Celebrate America's Military in 2023 as a series of events honoring the men and women who serve in our nation's military in active duty, Guard, and Reserve from all branches.

Since 1970, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has organized Celebrate America's Military (also known as CAM) as an annual tribute to our military. The two-week celebration during the first few weeks of November features more than a dozen events, proudly presented with community partners, making it the largest event of its kind nationwide.

Here are some of the events planned for CAM 2023:

San Antonio Botanical Garden Salutes the Military
Wednesday, Nov. 1 through Friday, Nov. 17, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., 555 Funston Place, San Antonio, Texas 78209. The San Antonio Botanical Garden salutes members of the U.S. Armed Forces in Military City USA during the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s annual Celebration of America’s Military. From Nov. 1-17, active duty military, military retirees, and their families receive one free ticket to the garden with every admission purchased. Check the garden’s calendar for additional events and programs scheduled during the Celebrate America’s Military timeframe. To redeem the buy one, get one free offer, present a valid CAC card, retiree ID, or dependent ID at the Garden ticketing kiosk. Free tickets are valid on the day of purchase only.

Texas Workforce Commission Hiring Red, White and YOU!
Thursday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Freeman Expo Hall, 3201 E. Houston St., San Antonio, Texas 78219. Hiring Red, White & You! is a statewide hiring event that connects veterans, transitioning military members, and military spouses to employers across Texas.

Celebrate America’s Military: Spirit of America Dinner
Thursday, Nov. 2, cocktail hour is from 6-7 p.m., while the dinner and program is from 7-9 p.m. at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle, San Antonio. This patriotic celebration includes a cocktail reception, an elegant dinner, entertainment and a keynote address from Michael “Rod” Rodriguez, President and CEO of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation, Army Green Beret, and Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran. Parking is on-site at the Tobin Parking Garage. Cost is complimentary for one military uniformed personnel and guest to include a plated meal and hosted bar. Attire for civilians is business/cocktail, and for military, Class A, AGSU, Service Dress, not formal mess). Register using this link and be sure to click Military Attendee, at https://business.sachamber.org/ap/Events/Register/MrDGndQL

American Legion Junior NCO Reception
Friday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m., Fred Brock Post 828, 3415 Martin Luther King Drive. Free event honoring active duty, Guard and Reserve NCOs in ranks E-4 through E-6. Complimentary fish dinner for all active duty, Guard and Reserve, with service ID, and for one guest. Call 210-863-1118 for more information.

American Legion NCO Appreciation Night
Friday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m., Fred Brock Post 828, 3415 Martin Luther King Drive. Free event for post members, veterans, military and their guest. Entertainment by Daniel Hamilton and The Band. Call 210-863-1118 for more information.

USO Fall Fest and Carnival
Saturday, Nov. 4, 3-7 p.m., USO Warrior and Family Support Center Freedom Park, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. Join us in celebrating military families and marking the 10th anniversary of Operation Appreciation, in partnership with H-E-B. Enjoy a fantastic lineup of family friendly activities, including carnival rides, face painting, live music, entertainment, food, treats, games, prizes and more. Open to all military ID holders.

Veterans Day Parade
Saturday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Milam Park, 500 W. Commerce St. Parade will head east on Houston Street to the Alamo. The Band of the West will be performing and participating. The US Military Veterans Parade Association hosts the annual Veterans Day Parade. The parade honors Veterans and their families

CAM Women in the Military Breakfast
Tuesday, Nov. 7, 8-9:30 a.m., The Skyline, 707 Dawson St., San Antonio; registration: 8-8:30 a.m.; panel discussion: 8:30-9:30 a.m. Panelists will include Col. Lauren Courchaine, commander, 37th Training Wing; Command Master Chief Veronica Brittenum, Naval Medical Forces Support Command; Command Sgt. Maj. Jennifer Francis, U.S. Army Medical Readiness Command, West. Registration is at https://web.sachamber.org/events/2023-Women-In-the-Military-6036/register?entityDomainId=1&secure=True.

Air Force Association CAM Breakfast
Wednesday, Nov. 8, 8:30-11 a.m., location TBD. Join the Air Force Association as it honors the service and sacrifice of our wounded warriors. More details to follow! Visit https://alamoafa.org/ for more information.

CAM Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Reception
Thursday, Nov. 9, 5:30-7 p.m., location TBD. This annual CAM event features senior NCOs from all services in a fun and festive atmosphere. This event is free for active duty, guard, and reserve military service members and one guest, but registration is required. Civilian and community members have a nominal fee to register. Email events@sachamber.org for more information.

Military Appreciation Family Day at the Alamo
Saturday, Nov. 11, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Alamo Plaza, The Alamo, 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio. The third annual Military Appreciation Family Day celebrates, honors, and recognizes active and former military and their families. Alamo Plaza and Gardens will be filled with special activities, guest presenters, live music, exhibits, and ceremonies. Local organizations and businesses will provide family fun, access to much-needed resources, and appreciation to San Antonio’s community of veteran, active duty and reserve service members. The event will be free and open to the public. Visit https://www.thealamo.org/veterans-day for more information.

Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery Veterans Day Ceremony
Saturday, Nov. 11, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, 1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd., San Antonio, Texas 78209. Details: TBD. For more information, call 210-820-3891 or 210-376-0340

U.S. Military Veterans Day Parade
Saturday Nov 11, noon to 3 p.m., downtown San Antonio

Veterans Day at Hemisfair
Saturday, Nov 11, noon to 10 p.m. 630 E. Nueva St., San Antonio, Texas 78205. Celebrating veterans with a free event at the Hemisfair Yanaguana Garden to include live music, food, beverage, entertainment, and vendors.

Buffalo Soldiers Veterans Day Commemorative Ceremony
Saturday, Nov. 11, 1:30-2:30 p.m., San Antonio National Cemetery, 517 Paso Hondo St., San Antonio, Texas 78203. See https://www.bcbsatx.com/veterans-day.html for more information. All dignitaries please RSVP to Clarence Thompson by Nov. 8, 2023 at cttexas11@yahoo.com or call 210-954-6558

2023 Alamo ACE
Monday, Nov. 13, noon, to Thursday, Nov. 16, noon, La Cantera Resort. The Alamo ACE provides access and insight to the senior leader’s perspective on current developments in cyberspace and future challenges in transforming to multi-domain operations strategically, and military cyber and ISR operations battlespace in the future. Visit https://www.alamoafcea.org/mpage/2023aace for more information.

For more information about these and other events, visit https://www.celebrateamericasmilitary.com/events.html.