Gov. Cooper visits Camp Lejeune, takes tour of base

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT) — After declaring May to be Military Appreciation Month, Gov. Roy Cooper visited Camp Lejeune on Tuesday.

Cooper took a tour of the base and said it looked much different than the last time he visited, which was in the months after Hurricane Florence wreaked damage on the area.

Cooper was joined by Marine Corps Installations East, Camp Lejeune Deputy Commander Col. Ralph Rizzo and North Carolina Department of Military and Veteran Affairs Sec. Grier Martin.
Cooper said he spent time speaking with active duty service men and women, learning more about what concerns them and their families, like schools, housing, what happens post-military and how North Carolina can continue to be a military-friendly state.

(Gov. Roy Cooper’s full interview. Sarah Gray Barr, WNCT video)

“We judge how happy Marines are by our retention rate,” said Col. Ralph Rizzo, Marine Corps Installation East-Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune Deputy commander. “We recruit the Marine, we retain the Marine’s family. That comes down to quality of life. If a Marine or a Sailor or a civilian employees know that their families are being looked after and taken care of, we’ll go anywhere in the world when the nation needs us.”

Cooper said he was impressed with what he saw.

“They’ve been able to update everything with new technology, with new training techniques that they would not have been able to do under the old buildings,” Cooper said. “There’s no question that the training that will occur here now will make for better-trained Marines in the future.”

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