The first glimpse U.S Army Chief Jackie Key got of Martha’s Vineyard was from the seat of her Cape Air plane.

“It was beautiful,” she said.

Ms. Key arrived Tuesday afternoon for an all-expenses paid vacation arranged by the Seacoast Defence Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Her plane taxied under a water cannon salute, and when she stepped out onto the tarmac, she was greeted with heartfelt applause by a large contingent of Island veterans who had gathered at the airport to greet her.

Vineyard veterans were on hand to greet Chief Key. — Mark Lovewell

The wounded veteran is a computer specialist who has served at U.S. Army facilities stateside and abroad, and is currently stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. She said she was overjoyed to learn she would be vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard.

“I was excited, I couldn’t believe it,” Chief Key said. “Like a dream vacation. Too good to be true.”

The DAR has arranged a whirlwind week of Island activities.

“They said a little bit of everything, fishing, biking, kayaking, the works, museums, lighthouses,” Chief Key said. “Everything sounded neat. I think we’ll have a fun-filled week.”

All the activities are donated by individuals or Island businesses.

“The community donates, we donate,” said Doris Clark, regent of the DAR chapter. “The community really steps up big time for our veterans.”

This marks the third consecutive year that the DAR has arranged for a wounded veteran to vacation on the Island.