Parris Island opens gates a day earlier for families

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comJanuary 31, 2012 

  • Get breaking news and story updates about local, state and national military issues by following On Base on Twitter.

Families of recruits graduating from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island will get a chance to learn more about the history and culture of the Corps and what recruits can expect after training.

Starting today, families will be allowed to come to the depot on Wednesdays to attend a "Marine Corps 101" seminar and a two-hour family orientation by the base and Marine Corps Community Services.

Previously, families had only been allowed at the depot on Thursdays to participate in Family Day activities, before the graduation ceremony on Friday."We hope this will give them much more of a feel for what their loved one has chosen to do and what they're now a part of," Marine Corps Community Services marketing director Jennifer Moneagle said. "Whether they've been sworn in or born into, they're now part of the Marine Corps family."

Moneagle said about 300 people are expected to attend today's classes.

Blakely Williams, president and CEO of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the base's decision could translate into big business for Beaufort-area hotels and restaurants.

"From a tourism perspective, we are excited to have the opportunity for these military families to come to our destination a day earlier and explore and enjoy more of what we have to offer," Williams said. "We see this as a mutually beneficial development and couldn't be more thrilled."

Moneagle said the benefit to local business was not lost on MCCS or Corps officials.

"It will be an extra night of lodging in the hotels and of these families eating in local restaurants and shopping," Moneagle said. "We consider that part of our community outreach."

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at

For more information on recruit graduations, visit

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service