Elements of the 24th MEU, the Marine Unit from Camp Lejeune that assisted with the Afghanistan evacuation, will begin returning this week to the base. Onslow County Government is encouraging our Citizens to decorate along Freedom Way and the areas around the base gates to welcome them home.
After the First Gulf war, Freedom Way was named to memorialize the pathway so many Marine units take deploying from Camp Lejeune via the Morehead City Port. The pathway has become synonymous with displaying tributes to returning troops.
Elements of the 24th MEU were called into Afghanistan to help with the evacuation. A member of the unit, Sgt Nicole Gee, lost her life in an August 26, 2021 bomb attack that also killed 12 others. Tributes to her and the others are along Freedom Way and in the Lejeune Memorial Gardens.
Some other members of the 24th MEU are still recovering from injuries sustained in the bombing and we wish them a speedy and full recovery.
The Onslow County Government is calling on community groups, organizations and individuals to place Yellow Ribbons and Welcome Home signs and banners, along the route and around the base gates to welcome the troops. Items should not be mounted to obstruct traffic or on official signage and should not be placed on private property without permission.
In memorial activities to 9/11, many spoke of the actions of our nation on the day after the horrific tragedy. People returned to work, and there were countless demonstrations of America prevailing to show resilience. In that spirit, Onslow County Government is encouraging yellow ribbons to welcome back the 24th MEU and to show honor to all those who serve and defend our country.