MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT) – Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is showing support to a special group forever tied to the military, Gold Star Families.
The base’s latest addition includes ocean views and a comfortable place for those families to stay. It’s called the Gold View Suite, specifically reserved for Gold Star Families. The lodge has all the amenities for a getaway, but its views are the part that shines.
The lodge overlooks the ocean and is just steps away from Onslow Beach. The full-furnished lodge includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a living and dining area. Gold Star families will primarily have access to the building.
Gold Star families are the relatives of a service member killed in action.
“I think that they are often the forgotten group, that you know just because they’re not a part of the community everyday or living on the base, that doesn’t mean their community is still not right here,” Tia Johnson, general manager at Marine Corps Community Services.
The lodge was previously offered for use by senior enlisted marines. Hurricane Florence destroyed the original structure, forcing its relocation and rebuilding.
“It used to be an oceanside unit, and we relocated on the dune side for further protection and long term sustainment,” said Chris Alger, deputy assistant chief of staff for business operations at Marine Corps Community Services.
Base officials said senior-enlisted Marines will still have access to the lodge. Two families have already taken advantage of the renovated lodge. Gold Star relatives can book spots 20 weeks in advance.
“It’s an opportunity to bring them back into the mix to just show our support for their sacrifice over the years,” said Alger.
Johnson is hopeful this way of showing appreciation to those families is copied elsewhere
“I’m hoping that we’re setting a precedent and that other military installations will also honor them in the same way,” Johnson said.
Base officials ask families to register for stays in the lodge at goldstarfamilyregistry.com.