Did you know that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has a baller home worth nearly $3 million?
The 8,700-square foot house was built in 2013 on one acre in the upscale suburb of Great Falls, Virginia, and last sold in April 2018 for $2.6 million, according to Redfin, which estimates it’d sell now for north of $2.8 million.
With an “enormous living space” and a “striking guest/pool house,” according to the listing, the Colonial-style home has a total of 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, a 5-car garage, home automation, a built-in outdoor kitchen, and those neat heated floors in the master bathroom so the feet of the man in charge of America’s $715 billion war machine do not get cold if he has to take a leak in the middle of the night.
Of course, I’m telling you all this to set the stage for what happened last Thursday outside Castle Austin: A major escalation in an ongoing war to save deadly snakes from bloodthirsty Marines.
“A Girl Scout could figure out how to survive in a jungle without killing animals for practice, and our military’s best and brightest should be able to as well,” Shalin Gala, vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in a press release before a protest outside Austin’s home meant to take on what the animal rights group called “Marine Bloodlust Drills.”
In PETA’s view, it’s absolutely heinous that U.S. Marines have been photographed in recent years during a military exercise in Thailand drinking the blood of snakes, eating geckos, and chowing down on scorpions in the name of survival training. The group has advocated on behalf of the most uncute animals (hey, let’s be honest) through press releases, blog posts, letters to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and even pointless petitions filed under the federal Administrative Procedure Act.
Marines, however, will tell you it’s great training. Though PETA often points out that jungle survival can be learned in different ways, the practice of drinking Cobra blood taught by Thai special forces can actually keep Marines alive in a place where it’s possible to wind up dead from dehydration within days. And the training is far more than the wanton killing of animals: “I’ve never done anything like this before, and I didn’t know you could eat most of those plants,” said Marine Sgt. William Singleton of the 2018 iteration of Cobra Gold. “Seeing the different animals that you can eat is pretty mind-blowing. It will help us recognize [edible food sources] easier in the wilderness.”
Yet the war rages on, and it has come dangerously close to Austin’s door. And while you may be worried for Austin’s safety, rest assured that he was apparently unharmed by the protest, which garnered a strong turnout of about seven people, according to photographs from the event. The local police even monitored the peaceful demonstration in the wealthy Washington, D.C. suburb.
It’s not clear whether Austin was inside at the time, but it’s unlikely he or his wife Charlene would have been able to hear PETA’s complaints from behind the beautiful French door inside their “dramatic foyer” entryway, which features hardwood flooring and a staircase up to the home’s second floor.
Photos from an online virtual tour show the home prior to the defense secretary moving in staged with furniture throughout the various rooms, which include a living room, a conservatory/music room, large dining room, gourmet kitchen, sunroom, powder room, massive bedrooms with walk-in closets, and an absolutely phenomenal backyard. The realtors didn’t call it a “resort like dream” for nothing.
In what can only be seen as one more bullet point of achievement for a man who grew up in racially segregated Mobile, Alabama in the 1950s and went on to become a four-star Army general and the first African American secretary of defense, Austin can now brew a cup of Joe at a built-in coffee station in the comfort of his walk-in closet just off the “dramatic” master bedroom.
Photos from the home’s lower level show a game room with a pool table and full wet bar, a media room for Netflix viewing, and an exercise room. The house also has a separate guest house with a bedroom and bathroom, so sir, if you’re ever looking for good company, my contact information is below.
We’ll have to settle for these photos until I get my invite:
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to remove some images in response to security concerns raised by the Department of Defense.