Puller, who died in 1971 at the age of 73, had one of the most distinguished careers in the Marine Corps. He earned five Navy Crosses over his 37 years of service as well as many other combat decorations, campaign medals and unit commendations. He retired as a lieutenant general in 1955, but his legacy lives on, said Kovnesky, who served as an intel Marine and left the Corps in 2000.
"The intent of the house is to have a place for Marines to gather," Kovnesky said. "It's going to be a place available to Marines, kind of like a home base: If they can't find anywhere to go, they'll always have this."
"This will be a cultural point of reference for Marines to make sure something as iconic as Chesty Puller's home does not fall by the wayside" said Anthony Pino, a former captain who worked as an air intel officer and now serves as the vice chairman of the nonprofit. "If it's going to be saved for anything, it should be put to use for Marines."
The drive to acquire the home is not just out of nostalgia for the general, however.
Pino recently lost a Marine friend, which prompted the group to seek practical means of reaching out and assisting fellow Marines.
In a suicide note posted on Facebook, Pino's friend implored Marines to love and to take care of each other.
"His last line was 'the door is unlocked,' and so this is our attitude," Pino said. "The idea that [Chesty's] home would be used well before anyone ever gets to that point to take care of other Marines, I think that would make him happy."
The group sees this as the natural continuation of Chesty Puller's legacy.
On May 11, 1994, Lewis Puller Jr. died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"Chesty was a human being just like the rest of us — he's still with us and still helping people like he always did; he was a Marine's Marine, and always looking out for the E-3 who needed help," said board member and retired Gunnery Sgt. Teresa Carpenter. "This is not a bunch of hair-brained Marines getting together, drinking and saying 'Hey, let's buy Chesty Puller's house!' We've really sat down, talked this through and really worked on it."
The group has been able to provide earnest money for the home, but the immediate need is to secure funding to purchase it.
This last week they achieved the status of a pending nonprofit, which Pino said allows them to legally operate in good faith. They are currently working to open an account with a local bank to facilitate the purchase.
"We're at the point now where we're running the risk of the seller pulling out and going with someone else if we can't produce soon," Pino said. "We want to do this the right way."
The property is currently selling for $395,000 and previously sold in February 2007 for $315,000, according to its listing on Zillow.