Since 1941 the Marines aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune work hand-in-hand with local citizens to facilitate the needs either side may have.
In that spirit the annual Joint Holiday Reception kicked off Dec. 1, and hundreds were in attendance from across the base and neighboring community.
Hosted by Maj. Gen. Raymond C. Fox, commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force, and Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Gorry, commanding general Marine Corps Installations East - Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, the reception included county commissioners, leaders from across MCB Camp Lejeune and other distinguished guests.
The event was hosted in order to bring the leaders of MCB Camp Lejeune and the most influential people from the local community into one place to show appreciation for the combined efforts of both.
“It’s our way of saying thank you, and it’s our way of saying happy holidays to the community,” said Gorry. “We share a common bond; this capitalizes on the relationship we share with the community.”
The base creates a partnership, it gets everyone working together. The reception is a great way to meet with those everyone works with and say thank you, as well as to celebrate the holidays, Paul Buchanan, vice chairman for the Onslow County Commissioner’s office, said.
“It brings us all closer together and it fosters a great relationship for continued support,” added Buchanan.
Along with the II Marine Aircraft Wing Band, a Toys for Tots donation point was established at the event accepting gifts from any guest who arrived.
“All the commissioners take it upon themselves to donate, especially to Toys for Tots. We’re all great supporters of the organization,” said Buchanan.
Whether it was for a simple act of giving, a time to meet with co-workers, or just a day to spend sharing the holiday spirit with the most influential people from the community, the many people who attended the Joint Holiday Reception were very thankful for the combined efforts of local communities and the base.