OCEAN CITY – The commander of the infamous Black Hawk Down has been announced as this year’s Ocean City Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast speaker.
Ocean City Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Director Bruce Spangler expressed excitement this week about Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin of the US Army, retired coming to Ocean City next month.
“Talking to people that know this guy, they say he’s a soldiers-soldier … he isn’t somebody that lives from behind but is upfront leading,” Spangler said.
Boykin’s distinguished military career began in 1971 when he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry from Virginia Tech. From there, he served more than 24 years in the Joint Special Operations, he was one of the original members of the US Army’s Delta Force, and a former commander of the Green Berets.
Following many other combat operations, in 1993 LTG Boykin clashed with Muslim warlord Osman Atto in Somalia, which was chronicled in the movie “Black Hawk Down”. He has been wounded twice while being involved in every conflict since Vietnam. The majority of his time was spent in the Middle East.
“He is an expert on Islamic history,” Spangler said.
Ultimately, Boykin has served as the commander of the US Army Special Forces Command and as the commandant of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He served six years in Intelligence and was a member of the National Security Policy Coordinating Committee for Terrorism and Coordinating Sub-Group for Homeland Security.
The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will be held Jan. 26 at the Clarion Hotel, which is a little later than normal but was the first available date for Boykin to participate.
“Our speaker for this year’s 22nd annual event is in much demand throughout the country and has been seen on all major networks, as recently as last week. He has an exciting testimony that you do not want to miss,” Spangler said.
This year the event will also last a little longer than normal giving Boykin plenty of opportunity to share his knowledge and experience with those in attendance. The event begins at 7 a.m. sharp and will end promptly at 9:15 a.m.
Spangler, a retired Ocean City police officer, said the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast began in 1990 and was originally held at the Dunes Manor, which the event quickly outgrew. There are usually anywhere from 350 to 500 people who attend.
“I think we will do very well this year because of his notoriety,” Spangler said.
Twenty-two years ago, Spangler was approached by two friends of his who organized the Easton Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast and the Delaware Governors Prayer Breakfast. After approaching Ocean City’s mayor at the time, Fish Powell, the concept of the resort’s Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast was created.
For ticket information and any other questions regarding the breakfast buffet, call Spangler at 443-235-2669. Ticket locations are Long & Foster Real Estate on 120th Street, City Hall on 3rd Street, the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce in West Ocean City and Cropper Oil Company on Route 50.
Spangler said the event serves as a spiritual reminder for many.
“This country was founded on biblical values and we are getting away from that,” Spangler said. “People often misquote the first amendment by saying its ‘freedom from religion’, and not ‘freedom of religion’. We are slowly killing the ‘freedom of religion’.”