American Freedom Festival: San Diego 2012

3rd Annual American Freedom Festival San Diego
May 26, 2012
USS Midway Museum

In the Party of the Year celebration for our Veterans and military, the American Freedom Festival San Diego kicked off the Memorial Day weekend with a huge bang with World Classic Rockers and Three Dog Night.  What a night!!

SMA (R) Tilley got things started with USS Midway Museum President and CEO, RADM (R) Mac McLaughlin, welcoming the crowd and giving us a brief history lesson on this wonderful monument – the USS Midway.  It is such a gorgeous and appropriate backdrop for this great event.

Bagpiper Larry Samuels led us in the National Anthem and Pastor David Plank gave our invocation.  Laurel Tsirimokos wrote, directed and narrated our traditional tribute to our military with a moving flag ceremony featuring the cadet ROTC corp.  It was a wonderful way to set the tone for the event.

Our beloved friend, supporter and board member, actress Karri Turner, introduced World Classic Rockers. Hit after hit by the original performers from Steppenwolf, Boston, Santana, Journey and Lynyrd Skynyrd had the crowd on their feet from the first note.  Everyone raved about their performance. 

SMA Tilley then brought to the stage, the President and CEO of our presenting sponsor, SKYDEX – Mr. Mike Buchen and his wife, Carol.  Their generosity and patriotism was even more evident this evening as he presented us with a check for $20,000.  Together they presented $50,000 to Veterans Village of San Diego, Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County, San Diego Armed Services YMCA, Got Your Back Network and United Through Reading.

The crowd’s anticipation of our headline act, Three Dog Night, was at feverish pitch. They were about ready to explode.  Sam Bass, midday announcer from our media sponsor, KYXY, took the stage to introduce this iconic act.  And no one was disappointed.  They delivered a memorable set featuring some of the classic hits in rock history. 

After their set the crowd issued a collective “WHEW”! as they caught their breath from this high energy and high voltage evening from World Classic Rockers and Three Dog Night.

A big shout out goes out to the USS Midway staff and crew for their amazing help and support of this event, to all our sponsors who helped make the event possible and to our audience and military who made it all worthwhile. 

The American Freedom Foundation has created a marvelous tradition aboard the USS Midway Museum on Memorial Day.  With memorable evenings like this, we know it will continue for a long time to come!

  • The American Freedom Festival is presented by SKYDEX!

  • Our home for the American Freedom Festival San Diego . . . the awesome USS Midway!!!!

  • Co Hosts SMA (R) Tilley and Karri Turner join Miss California in welcoming 2013 AFF San Diego Chairman, Drew Schlosberg.

  • The USS Makin Island Choir joined us for the 3rd time for their wonderful rendition of the National Anthem!

  • Marines from the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion perform "Tribute to our Fallen Brother."  A unbelievable moment that left not a dry eye in the house!

  • Our awesome host and AFF Co-Founder, SMA (R) Jack Tilley welcomes the crowd!

  • Creedence Clearwater Revisited gets it all started with "Bad Moon Rising"!

  • RADM (R) Mac McLaughlin, CEO of our great partner, USS Midway, welcomes audience to 4th annual event.

  • CCR Lead singer John Tristao gives it everything he has for a very receptive audience!

  • Our illustrious 2013 AFF San Diego steering committee led by Drew Schlosberg.  Great Job Folks!!!

  • CCR's Kurt Griffey lets it all hang out on "Proud Mary".  What great energy!

  • Military reporter, Lea Sutton, from our great partners, NBC San Diego, entertains the crowd at SMA Tilley's expense - Did we hear Navy beat Army?!?!

  • The wildly enthusiastic crowd rush the stage in appreciation for the great energy of CCR!

  • A SOLD OUT crowd for 2013 AFF San Diego.  Thank You San Diego!

  • Kurt Griffey and Stu Cook react to a very enthusiastic crowd during "Down On The Corner"!