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Each year, one percent of graduating high school students enlist in the armed forces. Only one percent. As a country, we need to let them know how much we appreciate them stepping up by joining the one half of one percent of Americans who serve. There are two very different ways of expressing our appreciation.

The way it used to be...

Imagine the excitement, trepidation, and anticipation if you are an 18-year-old high school senior who has decided to enlist in one of the branches of the armed forces. Your immediate family knows your decision and are proud as can be. Your guidance counselor knows your decision and your recruiter, and a few friends know what you have decided. The day comes and you get on a plane or a train and head off to boot camp. End of story.

The way it could be...

As your graduation date and reporting date gets closer, you receive an invitation to attend an event sponsored by the local chapter of "Our Community Salutes" at which you and your parents will be recognized along with all the other high school enlistees from Aiken County at a unique dinner celebration. How would you feel when you are asked to stand and 250 people applaud you and your parents for the courage it takes to head on the great adventure of boot camp? Goosebumps? Standing as tall as you ever have? Hearing from the dais that we are proud of you and we will be here for you in the coming years when you transition back to our community when your enlistment is over. It would feel good, wouldn't it?

The Mission

Our Community Salutes is a national organization, founded in 2009, to honor our nation's graduating high school seniors who plan to enlist into the military following graduation. Our Community Salutes - Midlands South Carolina is a regional chapter of the national organization.


Our Community Salutes - Midlands South Carolina is committed to creating The way it could be for our young enlistees. A committee comprised of local school officials, veterans, patriotic citizens, and organizations is working on the project as you read this. If the past is any guide, the number of high school enlistees from our county will be 50. The dinner events will be free to all invitees which will be approximately 250 when enlistees, parents, high school guidance staff, ROTC staff, county school staff, and recruiters are included. Help us to recognize and honor high school enlistees and their commitment to military service and to provide parents/guardians of enlistees with community support as their son or daughter transitions into military service.



Please consider a donation to OCS - Midlands South Carolina.  All donations that exceed this year's event will be carried over to subsequent years ensuring  sustainability and enabling us to continue to honor our new military recruits from  Aiken County 

Companies or individuals who contribute $2,000 or more receive 4 tickets to the event.

Those who contribute in excess of $1,000 will receive 2 tickets.


Image by Hannah Skelly


Jim Foley

Stephanie Beikirch

Linda Caldwell

Dara Glass

Dale Haas

Duncan Huyler

King Laurence

Sara Lombardi

Robert Murphy

Sondra Thomas

Clint Romesha, CMOH

Pat Blewett, Co-Chairman Emeritus

Tom Matthews, Co-Chairman Emeritus 

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