Belvoir DFMWR opens Travel Camp with ribbon-cutting ceremony
May 31, 2013
The Fort Belvoir Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation celebrated the highly anticipated grand opening of the 52-pad Recreational Vehicle Travel Camp in the Tompkins Basin area with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony May 22.
Guest speakers included Kim Mills, DFMWR director; Col. Joseph A. Simonelli, Jr., director, House Affairs, Office Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs and RV camper then utilizing the facility; and Col. Gregory D. Gadson, Fort Belvoir garrison commander.
Mills opened the gathering with an address during which she recognized the planning, patience and hard work that went into the facility's becoming a reality, as well as DFMWR's ultimate goals for the camp.
"It is my honor to be here to celebrate the formal opening of a project that has been in the works through five commanders over 13 years," Mills said. "There have been millions of dollars worth of design and study; there have been people involved in all branches of government, from the Pentagon to Soldiers, civilians and Families. (This facility) not only preserves the area but it also does what is most important, and that is provide an opportunity for our Families, our retirees, our Soldiers and our DoD civilians to have a wonderful place to be in the National Capital Region. This is part of the history of this installation, and as we go forward we are the people who happen to be here today when it opened. But our children and our children's children, and the Soldiers who are right now deployed and in harm's way, will also appreciate this area and this site -- and it's an honor to have it."
Simonelli then spoke briefly to stress the importance of outdoor recreation and its value in supporting servicemembers' Family lives.
"Being in the military you learn to be independent, you learn to be flexible and you learn about Family -- and owning an RV adds one more component to that and it's called freedom," he said. "It's the freedom to pick up and move around when you want to. Parks like this give us an opportunity to be in an area where we're comfortable and where we know each other."
Gadson closed the ceremony with a discussion focusing on the purpose of the camp and the command team's aims to continually enhance the morale and welfare of military personnel and their Families.
"It's really a proud moment for me and Command Sgt. Maj. (Chester) Grelock, (Fort Belvoir garrison CSM) to be here to officially open the Fort Belvoir Travel Camp," Gadson said, recognizing the efforts of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, DFMWR and Outdoor Recreation to make the facility possible. "This is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places for you to enjoy the beauty of Fort Belvoir. Our focus is always on quality of life and our commitment to improving that quality of life for our servicemembers, our civilians and our retirees, and this is one more addition to what we have to look forward to."
For more information regarding the Travel Camp and to inquire about reservations, contact Outdoor Recreation at (703) 805-3081.