Navy League Seeks Solid Base

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The Meridian Area Navy League is actively seeking new members to join. The organization says your membership could play a role in the outcome of the Base Closure and Realignment process.

The National Civilian Organization known as the Navy League has been around since 1902. In recent years, the local chapter has tried to protect and support Naval Air Station Meridian and keep it as an active base.

As a part of those efforts, the organization kicked off its membership drive in early November. It's trying to garner support for the base, but officials say they are in need of many more members to meet their goals.

"We need at least 1,000 members to show support for the base," said member Carolyn Smith.

The local organization says it knows for certain that other base closures will occur in 2005 and says it has been told that more bases will be closed this round than in the other three combined.

"We believe that when it comes to the upcoming base closures, it just looks better to have support from the community," said Meridian Navy League president, Roger Burke. "We think they took that in consideration last time."

The naval base holds a tremendous economic impact to the area with over 2,700 employees and an annual payroll of over $92 million.

The Navy League membership drive will continue until Dec. 3. Everyone is encouraged to join and former members are urged to renew their memberships.

For more information on how you can join the Meridian Area Navy League, call (601) 693-1306.