MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- According to the governor’s office, “North Carolina’s military presence is among the largest in the country and generates more than $18 billion a year for the state economy.” This leads to a question service members ask often: “What has North Carolina done for the military?”
In senate bill 1117, known as the 2005 Military Support Act, that question is answered.
Camp Lejeune is receiving $363,900 out of $1 million distributed to seven military bases and installations by the Office of State Budget and Management.
This distribution “is to be used to develop and expand community service, morale and recreation programs on these military installations that serve those in the military and their families,” said Governor Michael F. Easley. “While the war effort may be subject to debate, the support of our military families is unanimous. We are 100 percent committed to protecting our military families while we pray for the swift and safe return of our soldiers.”
Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Community Services received the funds Aug. 16 and has already distributed them to support different programs around base, said Wynn Hildreth, operations officer for Marine Corps Community Services here.
“We tried to allocate the money so it benefits the maximum number of Marines, sailors, coast guardsmen, family members, retirees and civilians who live and work aboard Camp Lejeune,” said Hildreth.
Distribution of funds is as follows:
• Replacement of two Onslow Beach Trailers as part of the Outdoor Recreation Program. Cost $120,000.
• 2005 4th of July Celebration (Fireworks) as part of the Command Special Events Program. Cost $75,000.
• Area Coordinators Funds (unit funds) as part of the Semper Fit (Command Support) Program. Cost $49,000.
• Construction of an outdoor deck at Heroz Sports Bar as part of the Food and Hospitality Program. Cost $35,000.
• 2007 4th of July Celebration as part of the Command Special Events Program. Cost $30,000.
• Free use of recreation and leisure activities for Marines returning from deployment as part of various programs. Cost $25,000.
• Back to school block party as part of the Children and Youth Program. Cost $15,000.
• Replacement and replenishment of recreational gear issued as part of the recreation program. Cost $10,000.
• Lejeune Players and Community Theater (startup capital) as part of the recreation program. Cost $5,000.
Also receiving funds were Marine Corps Air Stations Cherry Point and New River, with $78,100 and $51,200 respectively.
“This is a wonderful way for the North Carolina General Assembly to support the states military community and to let the service members know that North Carolina is a military friendly state,” said Hildreth.