General praises Fayetteville as 'sanctuary for soldiers'

Posted February 6, 2009 6:53 p.m. EST
Updated February 6, 2009 8:01 p.m. EST

— The Army's chief of staff praised civilians who have made Fayetteville into a "sanctuary for soldiers" during a ceremony Friday.

Gen. George Casey met with military units at Fort Bragg and then participated in a ceremony at Fayetteville's Crown Coliseum.

He presented the Army Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service to several individuals and organizations. Casey honored Mary Tony Chavonne and his wife and the nonprofit Operation Homefront.

The primary reason for the honor was the annual Boots and Booties baby shower, held in November. In 2008, it was billed as the largest baby shower in the world, and more than 1,000 pregnant Army wives received gifts.