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Onorato, Airport Authority Open Military & Family Courtesy Center

Onorato, Airport Authority Open Military & Family Courtesy Center Military and Family Courtesy Center photo

FINDLAY TWP., Pa. – Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and the Allegheny County Airport Authority today officially opened the Military & Family Courtesy Center at Pittsburgh International Airport. This new customer service program for members of the military and their families is part of the volunteer Airport Ambassadors program.

“Soldiers traveling through Pittsburgh International Airport now have a special room to pass the time while waiting for rides and flights,” said Onorato. “The best part is there will always be a welcoming smile and an out-stretched hand. Our volunteer Airport Ambassadors are here to greet and serve the servicemen and women who stop by.”

“We have many members of the military coming and going at Pittsburgh International Airport. This room will become an important asset for them in their travels. I commend the Airport Ambassadors for initiating this idea and working with the Airport Authority to see the dream become a reality,” said Bradley D. Penrod, executive director of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

The Military & Family Courtesy Center, located just past Gate A4 in the airside terminal of Pittsburgh International Airport, provides work stations, a spot to watch television, and an area to spend time with family. The Center has been open on a trial basis, providing light snacks and serving as a respite for our military personnel.

The Center is staffed by the volunteer Airport Ambassadors. The Ambassador Program at Pittsburgh International Airport trains and schedules volunteers to greet passengers and help them navigate the airport. The program has been in operation since 2001 and has about 70 volunteers.

The response has been tremendous and perfectly summarized by a soldier from Meadville, Pa.:

“Thank you. I have always known Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities to be very patriotic. I had wondered when the airport would acknowledge the efforts of military service men and women, but more importantly our families. Last year, when I had to say goodbye to my children in the terminal departing for Iraq, the lack of privacy was painful. Thank you for this!”

More comments from the Center’s guest book:

“Thank you so much for your support. It is always nice to know we have people who care about us and fight to make things a little bit easier and nicer for us.”

“I really appreciate being able to come and relax before shipping out. The folks who ran this were very nice and made my group feel comfortable. Thank you very much.”

“It is nice to have a place to unwind away from the bustle. I am sure it will be well utilized.”

The Allegheny County Airport Authority furnished and remodeled the space. Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum in Pittsburgh has loaned the Center artwork for the walls. Allegheny County Veterans Services is providing information on various services and programs available to military personnel and their families.

The Airport Authority is seeking individuals who wish to be an ambassador. Please contact 412-472-5690.

Nov 17, 2008

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