Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Camp David Marines Reunion

President Eisenhower and his wife Mamie in front of Aspen Lodge - 1960

Camp David has been guarded by a marine company from Marine Barracks Washington 8th & I  ever since the time of  Franklin D. Roosevelt, when it was known as Shangri-La. There is an active reunion group for marines who served at the 8th & I Marine Barracks. The marines share their photos and memories on the 8th & I Reunion Association website and have a section dedicated to those who served at Camp David.

The reunion website contains an interesting collection of first-hand accounts of duty at Camp David by marines who served there.  One account describes the underground Command Center back in 1956:
"Under the President's lodge there was a Command Center, which he could enter by elevator from several locations within the lodge, including his bedroom. From the command Center, his image could be televised to any location in the world to assure people that he was alive and the government was functioning. There was a War Room from which a global war could be directed. There was a heavy security door leading into this area from the side of the President's lodge. A Marine, armed with a loaded M-l rifle, was always stationed at this door during a presidential visit."
The reunion website also includes many old photos of Camp David from back in the 1950s along with some more recent photos of marines serving there.

One of many images uploaded by former Camp David marines to their reunion website

Sources: 8th & I Reunion Association; Marine Barracks Washington