Proposed site for the "Bachelor Enlisted Quarters" within the Marine Barracks Annex property at 1053 7th St. SE

The U.S. military doesn’t plan to use several acres of privately owned or leased land in Navy Yard for new U.S. Marine Corps housing, setting its sights on federal land just south of the Southeast Freeway, the U.S. Defense Department announced last week.

The Marines are looking to put a “Bachelor Enlisted Quarters” within the Marine Barracks Annex property at 1053 7th St. SE. The almost 1-acre site currently holds a basketball court, gazebo and sports fields.

“The Marine Corps identified [the site] as the preferred alternative based on this agency and public input, as well as its proximity to the [Marine Barracks] main post and annex, the elimination of the need for land acquisition and the mitigatable environmental impacts of locating the [housing] at this site,” a Marines website says.

JDLand was the first to report the announcement of the complex’s planned location, which was first discussed in 2010.

Draft studies for the construction of a new quarters listed five proposed sites. Three of the properties are located on privately owned or leased land. The rest of the sites are owned and occupied by the federal government.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and area neighbors expressed concern about locating the complex on privately owned or leased land occupied by the National Capital Area Spay and Neuter Center and other organizations.

The Defense Department expects to issue a final decision on the location for the new quarters early next year.

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National Doughnut Day

Barracks Row doughnut and coffee shop District Doughnut announced that they plan to celebrate National Doughnut Day by raising money for their neighbors  — the United States Marine Corps.

All proceeds from the sales of their $1 Vanilla Bean Glazed doughnuts on Friday will be donated to the Semper Fi Fund, which financially assists injured military members.

District Doughnut is also collaborating with delivery service Postmates to cater to those who cannot make it to the store on Friday. Beginning at 10 a.m., the companies will deliver four  donuts for $5.

“On National Doughnut Day we invite our friends, family, and fans to support a worthy cause,” says Greg Menna, owner of District Doughnut, in a press release. “We hope to express gratitude to our brothers and sisters who have suffered to protect our many freedoms and blessings.”

Image from District Doughnut Twitter Account

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Lance Cpl. Alec Andrzejek, Cpl. Joe Grilo and Lance Cpl. Jake Andrzejek

At least 10 Marines will stand guard at the gates of the Marine Barracks on Thursday, as Capitol Hill residents open their Christmas stockings and enjoy a day off work.

In an interview on the 6-acre compound, Hill Now spoke with three Marines who will be on duty Christmas Day.

Cpl. Joe Grilo, 24, will miss a low-key day of presents with his wife, who’s expecting their first child in February.

“After being on post more than three years, I’ve missed so many holidays,” Grillo said.

The Florida native will supervise Lance Cpl. Alec Andrzejek and Lance Cpl. Jake Andrzejek, 20-year-old twin brothers in their first year at the 8th and I street SE barracks.

Standing on post for 8 to 12 hours any day of the year is just part of the job, Jake Andrzejek said.

“Everybody who serves, they miss an important day, whether it’s a holiday or a birthday,” he said.

He and his twin, who share a room in the Marine Barracks Annex, will be absent from a day of church and family meals in their native Minnesota.

The long shifts can be monotonous, the infantry Marines admitted. Conversations with neighbors help break up the day.

“People come up and talk with us,” Grilo said. “It’s a good way to pass some time.”

Sympathetic neighbors have offered the Marines food and drinks as they stand guard, and the new Barracks Row business District Doughnut brought a whole box of treats.

“I’ve had people offer me a beer from The Ugly Mug, though obviously I can’t take that,” Grilo said.

The Marines are allowed to take store-bought sweets, but homemade Christmas cookies might not be in their future on Thursday.

“If it’s homemade, we can’t necessarily accept it,” Jake Andrzejek said.

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