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Gold Star families have their own place of refuge at Camp Lejeune

Marine Corps Community Services opened a new rental property specifically for families who paid the ultimate price of war.
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 7:37 PM EST
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CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WITN) - Gold Star families are getting their own place to just get away from it all.

A new rental property at Camp Lejeune opened specifically for those directly-related to service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

“I’m hoping that we’re setting a precedent,” said Property Manager Tia Johnson. “And that other military installations will honor them in the same way.”

The two-bedroom two-bathroom home used to be an oceanfront property exclusively rented by higher-rank military, but after damage done by Hurricane Florence, the property was moved off the shore and blocked off just to Gold Star Families.

“It’s an opportunity to bring them into the mix,” said Chris Alger, Deputy Chief of Staff with Marine Corps Community Services, M.C.C.S. “To show our support for their sacrifice over the last 20 years.”

Onslow Beach was badly-damaged in 2018 by Hurricane Florence. Dunes had been rebuilt, and several properties run by M.C.C.S. had to be moved on the other side of the new dunes. The property can still be rented by high-ranking military officials.

“When we removed it off the beach, we did not have the same purpose for it anymore,” said Johnson. “Everyone asked what was the most deserving group of the military that could possibly use this house and deserve their own distinguished quarters. And, we decided that Gold Star families were the most deserving.”

It’s a reason to get away from it all for the families who, perhaps, need it the most. Those who gave everything for a cause much greater than themselves.

“Just because they’re not a part of the community every day or living on the base, that doesn’t mean that their community is still not right here,” said Johnson.

The unit costs $100 per night to rent during the off-season, which lasts through March. During the busy season, the unit rents $130 per night.

M.C.C.S. officials say the unit should be rented 20 weeks in advance. Gold Star families should be registered with the Gold Star Family Registry to rent.

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