Oceanside ? For 71 years, the city of Oceanside and its next door neighbor, the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, have had a close and mutually beneficial relationship.
To thank its military neighbor to the north, the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce Foundation held its third annual Enlisted Recognition Dinner on Feb. 22. The gala allows Oceanside?s business community to pay tribute to the base?s top marines and sailors, as well as their wives.
More than 150 attended the dinner at the El Camino Country Club. The honorees and their guests were treated to dinner and received plaques, certificates and other gifts.
The evening?s festivities included a speech by Brigadier General Vincent A. Coglianese, who is commanding general for Marine Corps Installations West and commander of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. And City Councilmembers Jack Feller and Farrah Douglas were in attendance. But the true stars of the night were the men and women who were honored. This included 17 military service members and three spouses.
Honorees were Cpl. Andrew M. Bierach, named Noncommissioned Officer of the Year; Cpl. Brandon E. Wayne, Marine of the Quarter; Sgt. Jose Nunez, Noncommisioned Officer of the Year; Sgt. Maxmillion Page, Noncommisioned Officer of the Year; Cpl. Tessa R. Sisk, Marine of the Year; Sgt. Delando A. Bradford, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year; HM2 Aimee J. Granger, Sailor of the Year; Sgt. James M. Armstrong, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year; HM2 Aaron R. Belcher, Junior Sailor of the Year; HM1 Aaron L. Giacoletti, Sailor of the Year; Sgt. Juan C. Moreno, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year; HN Thomas B. Arnold, Blue Jacket of the Year; YN3 Damien S. Harper, Junior Sailor of the Year; BM3 Siera Q. Coffee, Junior Sailor of the Year; Lance Cpl. Nydia Garcia, Marine of the Quarter; Cpl. Bilma J. Diaz, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
There were also three finalists for the Spouse of the Year Award: Sarah Luckert, Trish Jones and 1st Sgt. Stacie Black. The winner, Luckert, received a diamond necklace, and all three women received gift baskets from USA Discounters.
The gala was organized by event emcee Chip Dykes, who is chair of the chamber?s Military Affairs Committee, and David L. Nydegger, president and CEO of the chamber.
The event?s co-sponsors were Pacific Marine Credit Union and Navy Federal Credit Union. Table sponsors included Tri-City Medical Center, Mossy Nissan Oceanside, Southern California Edison, Nitto Denko Hydranautics, San Diego Gas & Electric, Waste Management of North County and Pioneer Services.
More than $6,5000 was netted at the event. Proceeds will go toward several military-themed events the Chamber hosts throughout the year, including Operation Appreciation and Golf with a Hero, as well as educational scholarships and classroom grants, according to Kristi Hawthorne, event coordinator for the chamber.