By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: Dec. 2, 2017 | 6:10 p.m.
DINWIDDIE – 2017 was a special year for one of America’s oldest military institutions and Southern Virginia as Camp Lee, now known as Fort Lee, celebrated its 100th anniversary throughout the course of the year.
The celebration was not lost on the communities that surround the sprawling military base as the summer saw a series of events on Fort Lee that drew residents from around the area to enjoy the base’s centennial.
One of the more unique commemorations occurred in early July called the “Centennial Run,” where teams of soldiers ran 16.5-mile routes through the communities of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Prince George, and the Tri-Cities, along with the Petersburg National Battlefield to commemorate the 100th anniversary.
“As one team of soldiers completed a portion of the route, they passed a baton adorned with the centennial logo and the respective community’s name to the next team,” said Sarah Gauvin, Media and Community Relations Officer at Fort Lee, with the final pass being completed at Williams Stadium during the celebration.
Last week, the county was given a plaque containing a letter signed by Major General Paul Hurley, thanking Dinwiddie leaders and residents for the support of both the base’s 100th anniversary and the men and women who live and work on the military base.
On hand for the presentation, Dinwiddie resident and Colonel Floyd Crocker praised Dinwiddie for the support during the Centennial Run when the county prepared a pancake breakfast for troops taking part in the event.
“The only place that offered refreshments was Dinwiddie,” Crocker said. “The openness and warmness of this community has always struck me and the support you have for the military is extremely strong and we’re grateful for that.”
Accepting the award on behalf of the Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors, Chairman Harrison Moody thanked Crocker and Fort Lee’s men and women for their service to the nation.
“Dinwiddie truly appreciates the service of Fort Lee to the county and to all of America,” Moody said. “We thank all of you for your service to us.”
Crocker also pointed to the county’s militaristic history as an example of why Dinwiddie remains fosters such a close relationship with the military community locally, citing General Winfield Scott, a prominent U.S. Army general who was born in Dinwiddie County in 1786. Among his accomplishments, Scott penned the “General Regulations for the Army,” which historians call the first detailed and systematic set of military bylaws that laid out standards for a soldier’s life and served as commanding general of the army for 20 years, from 1841 to 1861.
For County Administrator Kevin Massengill, the American military is apart of the makeup of Dinwiddie County.
“We have Fort Lee in the east and Fort Pickett out west,” he said last week. “When you take a look at the demographics of the county, you see we have a military population here. So many people will do their career around America and then they decide to move and live here in Dinwiddie.”