COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Volunteers, citizens and veterans raised their glasses to show their support for local Army Rangers at the first ever Beer and Bourbon Festival in Columbus.
Around 300 people made their way to the event, held at the Chattahoochee Harley Davidson dealership on Williams Road. The good times started to roll at 5 p.m., especially for Rangers at the event who ran into old comrades.
Travis Pheanis, an Army Ranger and board member of the National Rangers Association, said the festival felt like a large family reunion.
"You run into guys you haven't seen for decades and it's like no time's lapsed," he said.
All proceeds from the event benefit the National Ranger Association, a not-for-profit group dedicated to recognizing the service of rangers not only here at Fort Benning, but all over the country.
NRA coordinator Candyss Bryant said the group's mission is to support rangers' families throughout the year as well as strengthening relationships with civilian community members.
Pheanis said it doesn't matter whether you're a Ranger or a civilian. What matters, he said, is giving back to the community, especially if it means spreading the word to help Rangers' families in the Chattahoochee Valley.
"The more people we can get involved…the more people that are aware, keeps us prevalent and keeps us doing what we do," Pheanis said. "Because we need the support of families and friends alike to get that done."
Festival-goers want to make this gathering an annual celebration.
Rangers from all over the country will meet on Friday at Fort Benning to compete in the Best Ranger Competition.