News: A place for the Marines to call home
By Julia LeDoux, Pentagram Staff Writer
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - It’s what everyone wants to return to after a tough day at work — a comfortable place where you can relax and call your own.
That’s exactly what the Marines Headquarters and Service Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps Henderson Hall who live at Bachelors Enlisted Quarters 416 on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall now have.
The lounge was unveiled during a ribbon cutting ceremony April 3 that drew the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, JBM-HH Commander Col. Fern O. Sumpter, Col. Laura R. Trinkle, commander, Andrew Rader U.S. Army Health Clinic, and a host of others.
The barracks now boasts a modern lounge, thanks to a $10,000 donation from the USO and “sweat equity” provided by the Marines of the BEQ.
“I think the most important thing about it is, no contractors, no outside labor [was involved]. It was all the Marines,” said Cpl. Michael Zunie, a member of the barracks committee that not only brought the idea for the lounge to H&S Bn., HQMC Henderson Hall Commanding Officer Col. Ira M. Cheatham, but who was one of the driving forces behind the renovation work.
The lounge now boasts several large screen televisions that are surrounded by comfortable lounge chairs, newly painted walls and as well as a communal kitchen where Marines will be able to prepare meals if they choose.
Cheatham explained that the Army provides the building that houses the Marines and that when the renovation request was brought to Sumpter, “she took it on as a project. She turned around and said ‘What can I do to help you and your Marines.’”
“Marines are pretty much territorial and protective,” continued Cheatham. “It’s our nature and we don’t apologize for it, it’s who we are. What we wanted was a place to call home. We needed it to be ours. We needed to own it.”
Cheatham said the USO donated a majority of the furniture in the lounge, while the Single Marine Program established the computer/game room. A cookout was held following the ribbon cutting ceremony.