Photo Information

Base officials, service members and Marine Corps Community Services employees combine their ribbon cutting powers at the grand opening of the revamped Marine Corps Exchange aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 2

Photo by Cpl. Damany Coleman

MCX renovation complete

2 Nov 2011 | Cpl. Damany S. Coleman

If you haven’t been to the Marine Corps Exchange lately, you’ll be happy to hear there are no more people sporting yellow vests or hard hats. The yellow tape is gone too. You won’t find any orange cones and debris either. That’s right; the renovation of the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune MCX is complete.

The ribbon cutting was held Nov. 2, with a plethora of ‘grand opening’ events that lasted a whopping – wait for it – four days.

From loads of free goodies, thousands of register-to-win prizes and autograph signings from special guests appearances from big names like Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Matt Hughes, Semper Toons creator Gunnery Sgt. Charles Wolf, WWE Hall of Famer ‘Animal,’ and even bikini pro Nathalia Melo, the MCB Camp Lejeune community had lots to do.

After the ribbon cutting, service members, families and other base personnel scoured the MCX to find great deals, register for cool prizes and take advantage of what the new MCX had to offer.

Also a part of the grand opening, two combat wounded troops from aboard the base were given free, head-to-toe makeovers from

Sgt. Kaitlin Herrington with Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, and Lance Cpl. Danielle Pothoof with Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group were wounded in combat, recently and were ‘hooked-up’ with cosmetic and clothing from, based out of Van Nuys, Calif.

“I think it’s very important that we give back to service members for what they do for us as civilians in the United States,” said Gary Shar, founder and chief executive officer of “The ability to give back and partake in making over some Marines, making them feel great, confident, sexy and changing their lives for a day is something we like to do at When the opportunity came about to partner with the Marine Corps, we knew it was something we immediately wanted to do and we’re very excited to be here.”

Other vendors gave their visitors free gear, snacks and samples of their wares. Each of the shopping center’s sections’ staff were hard at work, making sure the first day went as smooth as possible. With all the angst about having a good grand opening, MCX employees kept their cheer.

“I’m excited it was a long awaited event and it’s turning out really well,” said Shomie Meadows, electronic section supervisor at the MCX. “I’m glad with the turnout so far, it’s nice.”

Those who appreciated the grand opening the most, the troops and their families, not only took advantage of all the giveaways, they purchased new goods on stock and looked at other cool stuff that just might have to wait until next payday.

Others, who just came to check out the new MCX, appreciated the disappearance of all the construction-related items.

“There’s no more construction or having to avoid blockage,” said Lance Cpl. Ellen Mull with the Disbursing Office, Headquarters and Support Battalion, MCB Camp Lejeune. “It’s just a lot nicer now. It’s good to have a these kinds of changes every once in a while.”

Gunnery Sgt. Iosia Nunu, also with Headquarters and Support Battalion, said the grand opening was a great opportunity for the Marines who have experienced all the construction to see what the exchange has turned out to be.

“For the Marines who don’t have vehicles, the MCX is a more convenient (shopping center) for them to take advantage of what the MCX has to offer,” said Nunu.

For more information about the new MCX, visit