The USO of North Carolina, in partnership with Lowe’s Home Improvement, held a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the USO of N.C. Center in Jacksonville to unveil its newly renovated media room, renamed as the Staff Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines Media Room in remembrance a Marine who was killed in action in Afghanistan in April of 2019.

“I think he epitomized what the Marine Corps is about, and that is selfless service and caring about those around you more than you care about yourself,” said Jim Whaley, president and CEO of the USO of N.C. “From what I hear, he was outgoing, he loved life, he cared about his troops (and) he cared about his Marines.”

Hines joined the Marine Corps out of high school. He earned more than a dozen awards and completed two previous combat deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His father Scott Hines is a longtime Lowes employee and a store manager near Wilmington.

For Joe McFarland, Lowe’s executive vice president, the media room will serve as a place where service members can gather and feel safe.

“The hope here is as our (service) men and women pass through this door that they have a safe place, that wherever they are at in their military career, wherever they are in their own personal challenges (or) professional challenges that it is a safe haven,” McFarland said.