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thedrifter
08-29-06, 08:39 AM
Perdue delivers message to bases
August 29,2006
CHRIS MAZZOLINI
DAILY NEWS STAFF

Three area military bases may have received some big fake checks Monday, but the money behind them was real.

“We are delighted to give you a big piece of cheap cardboard,” said Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue Monday at Camp Lejeune as she handed over the oversized check of $363,900. She quickly added she couldn’t hand over the real check because it’s illegal for a public official to give someone money.

That and the fact that Lejeune, New River Air Station and Cherry Point Air Station have already received their chunk of the $1 million the state donated to aid quality-of-life initiatives for state military personnel and their families. While Lejeune received the most of the three bases — and second most in the state after Fort Bragg — New River received $51,200 and Cherry Point $78,100.

“I’ll remind you, North Carolina is the most military-friendly state in America,” Perdue said before the check presentation, echoing the phrase she often used during the state’s campaign to ensure North Carolina flourished during last year’s Base Realignment and Closure Commission decisions.

“We realized without a doubt that folks in North Carolina are incredibly grateful for the presence (of the military), and they are thankful to have young men and women who risk their lives to keep America and the world peaceful.

“We want to keep on keeping on proving that this state does value and respect the military presence in North Carolina.”

Also present at the check presentation was state Sen. Harry Brown, R-Jacksonville.

“It’s an honor for me to represent the base and Onslow County,” said Brown, who is up for re-election this fall. “I’m glad to be here and bring this money home.”

The money has already been delivered — and some of it already spent — but Perdue, who has said she is considering running for governor in 2008, said the state will continue to support the troops and their families, and that they will continually study what things they can do in the future to help them.

Perdue said she would like to see more money going toward military quality-of-life programs.

“It’s a critically important goal, so we can keep this a constant revenue stream and we don’t have to fight for it,” she said. “But as long as we need to fight for it, we will fight for it.”

Contact staff writer Chris Mazzolini at cmazzolini@freedomenc.com or 353-1171, ext. 229.

Ellie