MARINE COPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune hosted the Commanding General’s Fall Reception at the Paradise Point Officers’ Club Sept. 13.
“The first thank you goes to all of our spouses who are here to support us,” said Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Gorry, commanding officer of Marine Corps Installations East – MCB Camp Lejeune. “Tonight is a night of friendship between the base and the operating forces. This is the most military-friendly state in the nation, and I want to thank the city of Jacksonville for all they do to support the Marines, sailors and their families. This gathering is just a token of our appreciation.
Many bridges were built during the night of bonding. There were many elected officials who attended the event as well as the mayor of Jacksonville.
“This is a great opportunity for our military and civilian community to get together in an informal setting and converse about everything and anything freely,” said Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips. “Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station are very important to this area. We realize this importance and events like this strengthen our relationship. Just getting to know each other is the first step in making progress.”
Military leaders and the prominent officials of the Jacksonville community shared ideas of how to improve aid and support to each other.
“I think this is a superb event to have the base’s (commanding general) bring the unit leaders in for us to meet,” said Dr. Ron Lingle, the president of Coastal Carolina Community College. “Having the opportunity to get around and shake hands is an important part of building a relationship.”
The atmosphere was relaxing and entertaining to all, and it could be seen on many faces. Many laughed, joked and toasted to concurred feelings.
“Being able to sit down and talk is the important thing,” said Phillips. “We can exchange ideas and make sure we’re looking out for each other’s interest in building a perfect community to house the military personnel stationed here.”
The city of Jacksonville is an irreplaceable support system to the Marines living on the crystal coast. Both the Onslow County and Marine Corps installations molded and adapted to maintain an effective relationship.
“These functions are absolutely great because it gives the command a chance to continue socializing with the outside community,” said retired Col. Grover C. Lewis III, former assistant chief of staff of encroachment control, environmental and energy coordination, government and external affairs and school liaison with MCI East - MCB Camp Lejeune. “It is important for the two to continue to hold hands and be partners in a number of ventures. This is all for the good of the military personnel and their families. This is a great social setting to break bread and have some camaraderie. This event will help build the network to help our military community grow.”