By Courtney Dock-Abuhl, Pentagram EditorDecember 16, 2011
Nearly 400 people made the trek to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Dec. 12, for a glimpse at the military's top officers' houses decked in full holiday trim. The tour was hosted by the Army Officers Wives Club of the Greater Washington Area.
Visitors were able to view six houses, visit with Santa, as well as take in the view of the Washington, D.C., city lights below.
Not only did local guests come for the tour, but Families from outside of the Military District of Washington area came for the tour, including Military Spouse Club members from both Dover Air Force Base and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. For many of the guests, this was the first time many of them had seen any of the houses decorated for the holidays.
"I actually have been in a couple of these homes. Of course, I've never seen [them] dressed so beautiful," said Melanie Twomey, military spouse and tour attendee. "I've had my house on a tour twice before, but I've never been to the ones here.
"What's really fun is to see their treasures and what they collected and the value and what means a lot to them," said Twomey. She saw a few items that reminded her of places she's been stationed and a few decorations from locations she hasn't been to yet. Visiting the various homes and seeing the collections seemed to be yet one more way military Families have an unspoken bond, explained Ann Morrison, tour attendee and military spouse.
"It's fun to go into other people's homes and see that they've been to the same places I've been because you recognize certain trinkets from certain places and you have those trinkets as well," said Morrison. "So it's fun to do that. You have a little connection with everyone, it doesn't matter what service."
Visitors not only were able to take in the beautiful decorations, but were given short history lessons on some of the historic homes. More than 50 volunteers, acting as docents and greeters, welcomed the guests with historical information.
Dylan Andrade, 13, whose father is in the Marines, enjoyed this history the most. "The houses are beautiful inside and out, and the decorations and history of these houses are great and awesome," he said. "This is my favorite place yet."
All of the homes on the tour are a part of the National Register of Historic Places.