La Jollan helps dedicate four more military cottages

By Pat Sherman

On April 15, La Jollan Bob Clelland and others dedicated four more vacation cottages at San Onofre Beach on the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.

The effort is part of the Pendleton Cottages Project, which provides wounded warriors and other military members with a more pleasant vacation experience.

Nine of the new cottages are now being used by active duty and retired military personnel for short-term vacation rentals.

The new cottages feature memorial dedication plaques to Robert F. Sumoski, U.S. Air Force Airman First Class, and to U.S. Navy Captain Robert M. Hanson. The other cottages were dedicated to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to military medical personnel.

The cottages serve a recreational need for current and retired military personnel, with a special focus on disabled veterans. The facility is operated by Marine Corps Community Services and is available to all qualified active and retired military personnel in the country for nominal rental fees.

“We have a ways to go to fully fund the 24 cottages that are needed to complete the project,” project chair Clelland said. “We have installed five two-bedroom units and four one-bedroom units so far.”

“The current cottages,” Clelland added, “are actually old FEMA trailers that are considered beyond repair. We are taking them down and putting up new manufactured homes that are handicapped-friendly. These new cottages are built to last, with metal roofs, composite siding and railings, and stainless steel appliances and external hardware. They are set on foundations at ground level for superior wheelchair access.”

When complete, the ownership of each cottage is transferred to U.S. Marine Corps Camp Pendleton.

The Pendleton Cottages Project is seeking sponsors for future units. The total installed cost for each is approximately $85,000 plus $6,000 for furnishings. Cottages can be dedicated with a plaque honoring the donor or the donor’s designee, such as a charitable organization, company or family member who has served in the military.

The Victory Fund of the San Diego Nice Guys is serving as a fiscal agent for the project. More at