March celebrates at Muscle Beach

A C-17 Globemaster III piloted by Lt. Col. Tim Harris from the 729th Airlift Squadron at March Air Reserve Base conducted a fly-over of the event shortly before the ceremony. Hundreds of people turned out to show their support for the military and watch the bodybuilding and figure contest final event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt Joe Davidson)

A C-17 Globemaster III piloted by Lt. Col. Tim Harris from the 729th Airlift Squadron at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., conducted a fly-over of the event shortly before the ceremony May 26, 2007. Hundreds of people turned out to show their support for the military and watch the bodybuilding and figure contest final event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt Joe Davidson)

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CALIF. -- Memorial Day is a time for remembrance, a time for honoring those fallen in battle, a time for giving thanks for what we as free Americans are able to do because of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many. 

As more of a celebration of the Memorial Day event this year, the Muscle Beach International Classic bodybuilding and figure contest served as a backdrop for a demonstration of support for the military services. 

Hundreds of people enduring the afternoon sun looked to the sky as a C-17 Globemaster III from March's 729th Airlift Squadron flew majestically over the crowd of
cheering, clapping spectators. The clapping continued even after the aircraft banked
towards the North and headed back to home base. 

After being introduced, Brig. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, Commander of the Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing at Los Angeles Air Force Base, provided the audience with a brief history on the origin of Memorial Day pointing out that its original intent was to honor the fallen in war.

"Memorial Day has become a celebration of our American way of life", said Brig. Gen. Pawlikowski. "What better way to celebrate what those men and women died for to protect for us, than to be out here in beautiful Venice Beach with the sun and the ocean and the beach around us." 

Brig. Gen. Pawlikowski commented on honoring those members of the military that have served their country in the past by stating that one of the best forms of honor was imitation. She then administered the oath of enlistment to 15 inductees. 

Macey Russell is one of those new inductees. A soon to be graduate from San Pedro
High School, she says she needs a change in life and looks to the Air Force to help bring on that change.

"I want to be able to travel and learns new things in life," said Macey. "Learn new things
that I wouldn't be able to learn in the civilian world." 

Although she is enlisting in the Air Force under a form of general category, Macey hopes
to eventually pursue a career in Physical Therapy or another medical related profession. 

"I'm just really excited to be military and to support my country and do the best job that I can," said Macey. 

David Olvera joined the Air Force for almost the same reasons. Nineteen year-old Olvera told recruiters from each of the services what type of job he was looking for. 

"I was looking for a branch to give me a call, said Mr. Olvera. "The Air Force was the first to give me a call so I decided to join them." 

He signed up to be a Cryptological Linguist, a job that will require Mr. Olvera to get a Top Secret clearance. He plans to continue his education through the Air Force and hopes to be stationed in Turkey one day. 

Rightly so, most of the attention was given to the men and women's bodybuilding events. However, everyone appreciated and welcomed the support of the military.