The Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command is the 800 pound gorilla that sits next to the tiny desert town of Twentynine Palms, California. Weekend America first visited last year to learn what happens in a small base town when America goes to war. In the Iraq conflict, where so few Americans are affected, towns like Twentynine Palms seem to be the closest thing the country has to a "home front."
Indeed, we found the people of Twentynine Palms feel the impact when marines are sent to fight. A great deal of the impact is economic, especially for the tattoo parlors, barbershops and bars that cater to marines. But long-time residents have made an effort to insulate themselves from the impact and retain a bit of the charm of a rustic desert town.Related links Related Coverage
A Return to 29 Palms
In this hour of Weekend America, we will be revisiting some of our favorite stories that we had on the show this past year. We start with one of the first stories we brought to you in 2006. Weekend America's Pat Loeb reported from Twenty Nine Palms, Calif., the largest marine base in the world. Alex Cohen catches up with Felicia Erikson, one of the women she met there. Erikson's husband Jay is deployed in Iraq and is expected home in January.(12/30/2006)
Protest in a Military Town
Along with memorial services, this Veterans Day will feature war protests. Sentiment against the war in Iraq has increased and Tuesday's election spurred defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation. But one place you won't see any open opposition to the war is the town of 29 Palms, California. It's right outside the biggest marine base in the world and home to hundreds of retired military officers. (11/11/2006)
This weekend, about 700 marines are returning to their home base in 29 Palms, California. Twenty-Nine Palms is a small, desert town and the influx of marines has a big impact on the community. Weekend America's Pat Loeb has been following the military town during wartime. Her last story was about deployments. Now we see what happens when the marines come home. (09/23/2006)
Turn to Twentynine Palms
In our ongoing series about life in the military town of Twentynine Palms, California, Weekend America's Pat Loeb looks at how the town copes when nearly all of their soldiers are shipped out.
Deployment at Twentynine Palms
More marines from Twentynine Palms, California are being deployed to Iraq this weekend. The community has learned to cope with the coming and going of troops over the years. As part of an ongoing series, Weekend America's Pat Loeb discovered, it's a situation the soldier's families never get used to. (01/28/2006)
In His Boots
Military wives in 29 Palms, California recently took part in a training exercise, hoping that the experience would help them understand what their husbands experience. Weekend America's Pat Loeb paid a visit to see if the exercise could help the women relate. (12/10/2005)
War Comes Home: Twentynine Palms
The people who live in Twentynine Palms, California know all too well about the repercussions of war. The town is home to around 11,000 marines who train at the base; they have suffered 53 casualties in Iraq thus far. In the first part of a series, Barbara Bogaev explores the effects of war on the family and friends of those who serve, on location in Twentynine Palms. In this first installment, Barbara talks with a couple that run the community radio station about life in a military town. (02/05/2005)