Tens of thousands of active and retired members of the military from across New England travel through T. F. Green Airport each year. Now they will have a home away from home when they come through our doors.
“Military servicemen and women travel through Green Airport each year- making remarkable sacrifices, leaving behind their loved ones and deploying for months or even longer,” said Kelly Fredericks, President & CEO, Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC). “This Rhode Island Military Organization (RIMO) lounge will be a place for troops to relax before or after a flight and connect with their loved ones in person, by phone or e-mail.”
The RIMO lounge at Green Airport came about through a collaboration of RIMO volunteers working with RIAC and a host of generous businesses. RIAC donated the space used for the lounge. The Rhode Island State Senate, the Coventry/West Greenwich Elks Lodge #2285, Capital City Construction & Mgt Services, Inc. and Barbara “Wolfy” Dardeen gave generous grants and donations. Gilbane Building Company provided project management, the Rhode Island Building Trades Council (Construction and General Laborers’ Local Union 271, RI Carpenters Union Local 94, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local 99, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 11, Painters Local 195) donated manpower including carpenters, electricians, painters.
“Many Rhode Island partners – businesses, nonprofits, unions, the military, government, civic organizations and volunteers – worked together to ensure servicemen and women and Veterans and their families have a place to regroup and relax at the airport before or after a flight,” Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. “The new military lounge at T.F. Green Airport sends a message beyond our borders that Rhode Island is a caring place that when we see a need for our brave men and women in uniform and Veterans we address it.”
Other supporters lending time and donations to the military lounge include AA Wrecking, WF Shea, KB Surfaces, Delta Mechanical, Ross Electric, Synet, Cox Cable and Benny’s. Ruggieri Carpet One Floor & Home provided the carpeting. Cardi’s Furniture generously furnished the lounge. The Rhode Island Realtors Association purchased the large-screen television and a refrigerator. Pepsi and the Girl Scouts have also donated beverages and snacks to be enjoyed by military and their families of military who spend time in the lounge.
“The success of this project is due to the astounding support from the people in the greatest little state in the nation,” stated Lori Ashness, Vice Chair of RIMO. “The generosity and support we have received from RIAC, numerous donors and countless volunteers will continue the success of the military lounge at T. F. Green Airport for many years to come. Having the airport lounge will be a comfort to servicemen and women traveling on behalf of our country.”
The RIMO lounge is located on the second floor of the airport, in the hallway behind the Delta ticket counters, next to the Hope Reflection Room. It will be staffed by volunteers from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. The lounge will also provide transportation and lodging information for military members who may be stranded or in need of assistance with their travel plans.
For information on the Rhode Island Military Organization or to volunteer in the RIMO airport lounge, contact [email protected] or call (401) 426-9792 or (401) 413 -2511.