Annual Marine trip to Upstate planned

UPSTATE — The public is invited to participate in a welcoming parade on Monday held to honor visiting Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., as well as a group from the Marine Corps Upstate Wounded Warrior Regiment. Around 40 Marines are expected for the event.

Individuals and businesses are asked to help line the parade route with signs, flag waving and expressions of thanks as the motorcade moves from Easley to downtown Seneca and on to Lake Keowee. Businesses along the route are also encouraged to place a “welcome” or “thank you” message on any electronic sign they may have.

Last year around 300 motorcyclists led the motorcade in recognition of the sacrifices of Marines who serve our country. Scores of onlookers lined the parade route, waving flags, shouting thanks and well wishes to the Marines.

Upstate communities, led by volunteers from Keowee Key, a Lake Keowee residential community, are partnering with the Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital of the Greenville Health System to host the three-and-a-half-day “Honoring Their Service” event, concentrated on the lakes and rivers of the Upstate.

The Marines will be treated to outdoor activities such as fishing, golfing, river tubing, hiking, and archery, all created to communicate support and gratitude for the service they give.

The visiting Marines and motorcade will depart the J.B. “Red” Owens Recreation Complex in Easley on Monday around 2:15 pm, traveling down U.S. Highway 123 through Easley before turning onto S.C. Highway 93, which will lead the group through Liberty, Norris and Central. The motorcade will then move back onto Highway 123 in Clemson and travel on to Seneca. In Seneca, the route will turn at Miracle Circle onto North First Street and travel through downtown Seneca before heading to Lake Keowee via S.C. Highway 130.

“Each year, the support and gratitude demonstrated by people along the motorcade route has shown that the Upstate understands and appreciates the sacrifices these dedicated young Americans have made,” 2014 event chairman Mike Tarman said. “Honoring Their Service provides the entire Upstate community the opportunity to say thanks, face to face, heart to heart. I encourage all that can to come out to show their support again this year.”

In addition to the welcoming parade, the public is invited to attend Veterans’ Appreciation Family Night on Tuesday at Gignilliat Field in Seneca. The event recognizes the service and contributions of all veterans of our area, and from all wars and conflicts. The public is invited to attend to meet the Marines and enjoy barbecue and music. The event starts at 7 p.m., but the community is invited to arrive a little early in order to give the arriving Marines and veterans a rousing welcome. There is a charge for barbecue meals, but admittance is free.

To end the week, the Clemson University athletic department will host the Marines with a tour of the WestZone facility at Memorial Stadium prior to their departure on Thursday.

For more information on the parade route, or to participate in the motorcycle escort, visit the event’s website at and click on “Event 2014.” After entering the Event 2014 section of the website, the parade route can be accessed by clicking on the left-hand button labeled “Motorcycle Escorts.”

For other details, email questions to

If you would like to make a donation to support the “Honoring Their Service” event, you can send a check to: Honoring Their Service, Post Office Box 607, Salem, SC 29676.