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Quality of life upgrades continue at JBLM

Joint Base Lewis-McChord leadership officially kicks off renovation upgrades at McChord Field’s Holiday Park ground-breaking ceremony Nov. 2, 2011 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. More than half a million dollars in renovations to Holiday Park, a nine-a

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Barely a year old, Joint Base Lewis-McChord continues to upgrade its amenities that serve a growing, diverse military and military Family population. The trend continued when installation leadership, along with Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and private construction company reps broke ground on upgrades to McChord Field's Holiday Park, Nov. 2.

More than half a million dollars in renovations to Holiday Park, a nine-acre recreational area, one of two outdoor sites of its kind on JBLM, will include bringing sewer services to the final 18 of 37 recreational vehicle spots, making them full service. This will include electrical access upgrades, as well as renovating the laundry and shower facilities in the area.

Touted as one of the Air Force's best recreational areas for more than 50 years, and now an added joint base asset, Holiday Park with its RV areas, better known as its "FamCamp," along with several picnic shelters, tables, grills, game areas and other amenities, most of which is open on a first-come, first-served basis.

According to officials, construction is estimated to take up to 280 days to complete. In addition to upgrading services to RV sites on Holiday Park's "upper loop," renovations to the laundry and shower facilities will include doubling the amount of existing washer and dryers.

FMWR estimates that Holiday Park's 37 RV sites usually run about 85 percent occupancy during the winter months, therefore the loss of 18 sites will put Holiday Park sites at a premium. Customers are reminded that the nearby Lewis North Travel Camp, Holiday Park's sister site on JBLM has 47 active RV sites for qualified customers. Holiday Park sees an average of 4,000 customers per year.

Scott Ballentine, a project manager for FMWR at JBLM, said the upgrades weren't some special bonus for Holiday Park's military customers, but instead was an example of FMWR's continuing dedication to "serving those who serve."

"It's why we're here," said Ballentine. "The concept of MWR is that our military personnel and their families have enough to worry about and enough hardships to deal with in their lives. It's our responsibility to do the best we can to ensure that their standard of life is as good as it can be."

Col. Thomas Brittain, JBLM's garrison commander, was in attendance and helped break ground for the upgrade. He said whether it was being a commander in general, or specifically JBLM's garrison commander, upgrades at Holiday Park are a small example of doing the right thing by today's servicemembers.

"The bottom line is the reason we exist as commanders is to take care of servicemembers and their families," said Brittain. "Unique to the installation, you need good quality of life programs to make sure we're taking care of the servicemembers and their families so that the mission commanders can focus on their operational missions."

Col. R. Wyn Elder, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, JBLM's largest Air Force contingent, agreed with Brittain's view and appreciated that his garrison command takes action on it.

"We recruit individuals but we retain Families," said Elder. "The operations tempo is so high, we've got to take care of them and their Families whether they are here or deployed. At Joint Base Lewis-McChord we have an excellent relationship; the installation and Colonel Brittain as garrison commander do a phenomenal job at making sure, when they're home, our Airmen, Soldiers and their Families have things to do with their Families in a safe, positive environment."

Future expansion plans for Holiday Park include another area of full-service RV sites with partnered facilities, along with the possibility of cabins being built. For more information on Holiday Park and the many more recreational opportunities at JBLM, visit

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