Armed Forces Day activities are spread out over two days in May, with events including a luncheon, a 5K run, a parade and fly-in to celebrate the nation's military services.

Activities begin on Friday, May 3, with the annual Armed Forces Day Luncheon set for 11 a.m. at the Lee Maxwell Center at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant. With the U.S. Coast Guard designated as the branch of the military that's being honored this year, Capt. Roxanne Tamez, who is Sector Lower Mississippi Commander for the U.S. Coast Guard, is the luncheon's featured speaker.

The late Margaret Crabtree Richards, a 1942 McAlester High School graduate who served in the U.S, Coast Guard during World War II, will be honored at the Missing Man table, in remembrance of those service members who are no longer with us. She was awarded the American and Victory Medal Ribbons for her wartime service.

Tickets for the Armed Forces Day Luncheon are available at the McAlester Chamber of Commerce at 216 E. Choctaw Ave.

Events kick-off on Saturday, May 4, with the annual Armed Forces Day Run, which begins at the reviewing stand on Choctaw Avenue in downtown McAlester.

Those who want to participate can signup online or downtown on the morning of the event. Online registration is available at for a $23 fee. On-site registration is set to begin at 6:30 a.m. near the clock tower at First Street and Choctaw Avenue, with an onsite signup fee of $20. The 5K Armed Forces Day Run route will follow the same path as the Shared Blessings 5K Run. It's set to begin at 7:30 a.m, said Robbie VanVekoven, one of the 5K run organizers.

The Armed Forces Day Parade is set to begin at 10 a.m. in downtown McAlester, featuring everything from military units to floats and marching bands. A flyover by military aircraft is set to kickoff the parade. It's set to head east on Carl Albert Parkway to Fifth Street, where the parade will head south for a block before turning west on Choctaw Avenue and continuing to Main Street.

Following the parade, the Armed Forces Day Fly-In is set to begin at noon at McAlester Regional Airport. The Cherokee Skydivers will start the event. A variety of military and law enforcement aircraft will be on display for the public to see. Hot dogs will be provided, with no charge to attend the free event.

Contact James Beaty at