Story by NMCCL Public Affairs on 08/05/2019Jacksonville, North Carolina, the home of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune (NMCCL) has been encouraging unity, both inside and outside the gates. The purpose of the City of Jacksonville's One City, Our City, My City campaign was shared at NMCCL Diversity Committee's celebration July 18th.
The initiative created by Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips, and approximately 17 local pastors, aims to encourage the nurturing of relationships between neighbors, businesses, and even military and civilians through caring about one another, keeping open lines of communication, and treating others with respect and inclusion.
"We want to practice kindness. We want to make time for others. We want to demonstrate patience, we want to create success. We want to engage our youth. We want to mentor. We want to lend a hand. We want to tech. We want to embrace tolerance and we want to always embrace opportunities to serve," said Lillie Gray, Director of Community Engagement for the City of Jacksonville, during the presentation.
Gray explained Mayor Phillips was inspired to launch the positive campaign following months of national headlines of community violence and discord. Initially, the campaign was only supposed to be in place for a year, however, the overall success and embrace by the community encouraged the City of Jacksonville to continue to promote and share the message.
Gray explained that living the One City, Our City, My City initiative could be something as simple as offering to mow the lawn of a neighbor whose spouse is deployed, or encouraging teens to get involved in the community.
"These are the types of things that build relationships so that in times of crisis you don't become my enemy," said Gray. "You're my friend. I care about you."
Jacksonville is considered "home" to thousands of military members and their families due to the proximity of Camp Lejeune.
The city has fully embraced the military's presence, providing support in several different manners from technological, to infrastructure, explained Ron Massey, Jacksonville Deputy City Manager.
The support from the local community to the military is not lost, said Commanding Officer CAPT Jeff Timby, and was "a positive engagement" he noticed shortly after arriving to his role at NMCCL nearly a year ago.
"We're a big part of this community. You don't have to come on base to support all of the forces that are here," said Timby. "This is our community, too. We want to support you the way you continue to support us."