Facility dedicated to fallen warrior
By Lance Cpl. Brandon R. Holgersen
| | December 14, 2005
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The former staff noncommissioned officer’s club was dedicated as the Gunnery Sgt. Terry W. Ball Jr. Center here Dec. 14.
The recently renovated building was dedicated to Ball for his service to the Marine Corps during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ball received fatal wounds from an explosion while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Karmah, Iraq, while assigned to India Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.
Ball’s family, along with Marines who served with Ball while he was in Iraq, attended the ceremony.
The renovated building was transformed into a multifunctional center, which includes Heroz sports bar, a banquet room and a state-of-the-art conference room.
“It’s a huge honor,” said Jennifer Ball, Ball’s wife. “But, we would much rather have him here having a beer at the bar.”
The facility is open to all ranks to enjoy, according to Jay Sollis, the assistant chief of staff for Marine Corps Community Services.
“He would be happy knowing that this is a place where Marines can have a good time,” said Jennifer Ball.
When Maj. Gen. Robert C. Dickerson decided to transform the old SNCO club, he wanted to do it right, according to Sollis. He asked II Marine Expeditionary Force if they had a Marine they would like to nominate to have the facility dedicated to. They enthusiastically recommended having it dedicated to Ball. Headquarters Marine Corps approved the dedication for the multipurpose facility.
“It’s the best thing they have done, and it motivates a lot of people about what the Marine Corps does for people,” said Staff Sgt. Luis A. Santiago Jr., a platoon sergeant with weapons platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.