Jacksonville is a military town, and even its residents very often see its history as inextricably linked to that of Camp Lejeune and the United States Marine Corps. And while our city takes justifiable pride in its military connections, the truth is that there’s even more to the story. In speaking to Shannon Salas about her story and that of her family, we found an entry point into the deeper story of Jacksonville, North Carolina, and the people who live here.
The product of two longstanding Jacksonville institutions—the Salas and Davis families—Shannon's personal story leads us into their broader narrative. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Shannon is the daughter of Kim and Jimmy Davis. Jimmy’s family has deep roots in the area, residing on family land that goes back to the 1800s. He has served for 24 years with the Jacksonville Fire Department where he currently holds the rank of Captain. He also runs his own business, JD’s Lawn & Landscaping. Kim was born in Okinawa to Marine Corps parents, Kim’s family moved back to Jacksonville when she was only a year old. Other than attending college in Miami, Florida, she’s resided here ever since. Both she and Jimmy attended White Oak High School. Kim spent her career as a civilian working on base at Camp Lejeune, starting at the PX at the age of 19 and, after 35 years, finally retiring with MCCS on 01 July 2022.
Like her parents, Shannon attended White Oak High School. She later met her husband, Ramon, in Goldsboro, where he was stationed at the time. Originally from Guam, Ramon has served in the United States Air Force for the last 18 years. The couple have two children—five-year-old Luna and 18-month-old Kainoa—and two dogs, Crush and Arlo.
For her part, Shannon has continued the family tradition of community involvement and service. An entrepreneur in her own right, Shannon is currently living her long-time dream of owning a business here in Jacksonville. Her now-retired mother Kim can occasionally be sighted helping out around the business. Shannon also attended the dental assistant program across the street from her business at Coastal Carolina Community College. She has always come back to Jacksonville to grow and impact the community, despite their military lifestyle keeping them on the move.
Shannon loves to be a part of her community. The Salvation Army and Arise Animal Rescue are two of the organizations she loves to work with locally. With the help of her family, local business partners, her business and the city fire departments, they were able to help over 130 children this past Christmas through the Angel Tree Program with the Salvation Army. Working with Arise, they have helped find forever homes for many rescued animals, bringing joy to their adopted families.
This extended family takes great joy in supporting local businesses around town. They can often be spotted dining at local favorites Marrakesh and Wasabi, while Shannon loves Angry Ginger for a “girls’ night out”. The Children’s Museum, Altitude Trampoline Park, and Roller City skating rink are favorites with Luna and Kainoa, while the whole family enjoys exploring the town and trips to all the beautiful local beaches.
Shannon and her extended family offer a look into the history of the city, and insight into what so many of us love about Jacksonville. Generations of tradition, a focus on family, and a thriving small business scene make our city stand out, as do folks like Shannon, Ramon, Kim and Jimmy. Their community service, military roots, and dedication to helping others bring together the best of Jacksonville, its rich history, and its bright and growing future.