Unhappy Campers: JBLM Tells Long-term Residents to Pull up Stakes

Cmdr. Carol Kirkland lived at the Holiday Park campground on Joint Base Lewis-McChord so she didn’t have to buy a house before her upcoming retirement from the Public Health Service.

Robert Braley, a retired Alaska Air National Guard master sergeant, snowbirds at Holiday Park every year to be near his daughter, who lives in Tacoma.

Spc. Stephen Ogden, who enlisted in the Army Reserve after leaving active duty in September, planned to stay at Holiday Park until August, when his Reserve training will begin at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia.

The three were among 15 long-term residents at the campground — 10 in RVs or trailers, five in tents — who had a handshake agreement with the manager there to stay as long as they wanted.

But the manager wasn’t following Army rules, which allow only four-week stays from October to April and two-week stays from May to September.

When JBLM’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation leaders found out about the long-term arrangement, the manager was let go and the residents lost the spots they called home.

The last of them, including Braley, had until Saturday to leave.

"Sometimes you’re not going to make anybody happy," JBLM Public Affairs Office spokesman Gary Dangerfield said. "We’re not trying to make anyone homeless or put them in a bad situation."

‘Homesteading is strictly prohibited’

Holiday Park, on the southeastern corner of the former…

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