I stayed at the Gateway for the 7/12/13 PIR. I had the background check for everyone done and did not hear from them. They told me to expect a call in about a week so that could secure payment once the background check was completed. About two weeks before the PIR I called and asked them to check to see if we had been approved. We had and I paid. My son's girlfriend came and stayed in the room with us (there is a pull out couch if you get the suite and there is a small kitchen). When we arrived there was a beautiful basket of fruit for us. We were walking distance to a great little restaurant and it was good enough to eat there for two meals. The stay was very comfortable. We walked all around the base (this is not the side of the base where the SR's are, so don't spend a lot of time hoping to see your SR marching by. We did, however get to see all of the A school sailors walking everywhere and exercising and eating and listening to music and shopping at the NEX. The grounds are immaculate, there are very few vehicles and everyone is extremely polite and helpful. It was a wonderful experience for us. The drive to the PIR side of the base is 5 minutes and easy. There is construction, so you have to go back out of the main gate and turn left to get on a little ramp that takes you right to the PIR gate. I do recommend you get there early, even though it is close, so you can get a good seat. We left at 6 a.m. and there was very little traffic at the gate. Keep your id's out and ready to show. I found the whole experience extremely organized and well manned. I am guessing that now that my sailor is on hold in A School in FL, he is doing some of the same things, helping the base run smoothly. I am excited for all of you and recommend the Gateway stay!
You as a DOD civilian or your husband's status as retired military make you eligible to stay at both locations. Go onto the website for both locations for more information.