Free government lodging for paddlers

I recently learned that some seasonal Coast Guard stations are used in the off-season for weekend and vacation getaways for Coast Guard personel.

Aside from the necessity of arranging to be a “guest” of a Coast Guardsman there is no charge. The facilities come fully equipped with kitchen, satellite TV, and depending upon the size of the station, they can easily accommodate a dozen or more.

Free waterfront lodging. Not a bad deal.

I’m just glad my two best friends have daughters who married Coast Guardsmen.

All of the armed services have vacation places to stay. Some are in very nice locations. I stayed, years ago, in a cabin on USN property on the big Island in Hawaii. Camp Lejune and Fort Fisher here in NC each have military vacation campgrounds and cabins.

Happy Paddling,


Your tax dollars at work.
I think this system gets abused quite a bit. Not open to the public unless you know someone. In most countries this is called corruption.

Being a little short sighted there Sea-


The member who is hosting you
is responsible for your actions. If you go in and trash the place, The Coastie who hosted you ends up paying for the damages.

Tax dollars?
Would it be a better use of tax dollars if the facilities simply sat empty, subject to weather damage, deterioration, or vandalism?

If what rvwen says is true, that these are already-existing facilities, “used in the off-season”, then opening them to approved members of the general public (who after all finance them with their tax dollars) would seem to be a good idea. Kinda like using our publicly-funded schools (gymnasiums, libraries, classrooms) for after-hours programs which benefit the community.

While both schools and Coast Guard stations are indeed publicly-funded and intended for the general welfare, one difference is that CG facilities are pseudo-military installations, and crucial for navigation and safety. So it’s only wise that visitors from the general public be affiliated with a CG member for some accountability. When you’re out in the elements, you wouldn’t want a lighthouse or rescue station to go off-line because some fratboy’s cigarette set the place on fire.

Besides, most CG personnel and many other important public-service workers are poorly paid, so offering them and their families/friends this essentially cost-free benefit seems a no-brainer.


Federally Funded Vacation Resorts
There are many facilities on the West Coast and Hawaii run by the military on some of the most prime recreation land in the country. A sense of entitlement by the Military brass keeps these facilities for junkets and retired military when they have no military or defense value. They should be in the hands of all americans who pay for them. I had no idea how corrupt this system was until I was invited by a friend to a spot on the central California coast. If the public saw what I saw they would rise up in revolt. I don’t mind if there are facilites for active duty military to have a place to go to relax, but this system is really abused.

Sounds to me …
… like government pork.

I don’t mind a Coastie and his family spending their vacation in a lighthouse, etc., for all the reasons I outlined above. Same goes for other branches of the military. As I said, the lower ranks and ‘grunts’ are woefully underpaid for their services, especially nowadays during this costly and misguided ‘war’.

But high-ranking brass can easily afford to pay for their own country club memberships and vacation resorts, and shouldn’t require taxpayer subsidies. Maybe that makes me a Classist, but I say such benefits should be doled out to those who earn them …

I used to work near one such naval
rec facility in southern Md. From what I saw, it was mostly used by retirees, government contractors and congressmen. Very few active duty ‘grunts’ were to be found. This facility also occupied some prime riverfront property that is probably worth in the hundreds of millions maybe more) today given the development in the area. Maybe the government should be looking at unloading some of this prime property instead of trying to sell off national forrests and park land to help shrink the deficit.

Corruption? Abuse?
I have a question for those of you who have taken exception to this particular military benefit.

Is your opposition based on the fact that one side of our political spectrum is currently using support for our armed forces personel as a patriotic litmus test? Are you just jealous? Hate the military? Or what?

Somehow, for a young man serving our country at a time when he could be making more money at Wal*Mart, being able to provide for a special outing for his parent’s and friends at no additional government expense would would rank pretty low on any outrage scale.

Unless, of course, you’re one of those that boo the color guard and uniformed veterans marching in the 4th of July parade.

The ones i have used you still had to pay to use them but it wasn’t the overly inflated price you would normally have to pay. Just Google MWR. As for the folks campaigning about this Benefit, Go sign up and you too can get the same treatment…

Lets not confuse patriotism
with the smell of pork cooking. No one here I’m sure would begrudge active duty military a nice place to vacation at a reasonable rate. But retirees and others who have good paying private sector jobs also get access to this stuff and in my experience usually take more advantage of these facilities than regular servicemen in some parts of the country, especially around the nations capital. I think you’ll find that most service people head straight for home on leave, but they do use these recreation complexes to entertain and house their visiting loved ones for shorter periods. That at least how all my Navy friends explain it.

A friend of mine here in Texas just went on vacation with his brother in law who has been out of the service for 30 plus years and their whole family (almost 20 people)used the facility I mentioned in the earlier post last year. Believe me they ALL could have afforded to stay in a regular hotel, but mooched off Uncle Sam like he was some long lost relative because they could.

That is the kind of thing I don’t like about it.

Why couldn’t such facilities…
…and there are several in WA, I believe, be part of the national inventory of recreation facilities such as provided in national forests, parks, etc., with ACTIVE service members given priority?

I used to be stationed on the

– Last Updated: Mar-23-06 7:33 PM EST –

Presidio of San Francisco. It was an open base and shared with the National Park Service. Since the Army moved out, the base has really deteriorated. In military recreation facilities, retirees are space available. Use of the MWR facilities was touted as one of the benefits for serving 20 years. And use of those facilities generates money for active duty other facilities such as child care centers, theaters, gyms for bases. Also, payment is a rank based. Lower ranks generally pay less. In theory, MWR facilities are supposed to generate income for their own upkeep.

Active military does get priority
but many are underused and usually way larger than they need to be.

what about the utiilities costs?
While I am Ok with what is going on, the utilities costs must be considered. Heating to 70 when people are in in and keeping things hot enough not to freeze between visits? Costs quite a bit!

It’s OK to spend money, but lets aknowledge costs too.