Armed Forces Service Center Troop Greeters Welcome 100(th) Military Flight at MSP

Dépèche transmise le 2 avril 2009 par Business Wire

Armed Forces Service Center Troop Greeters Welcome 100(th) Military Flight at MSP

Armed Forces Service Center Troop Greeters Welcome 100(th) Military Flight at MSP

MINNEAPOLIS & ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--When hundreds of military troops arrived this week at the Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport (MSP), they were met by an especially enthusiastic crowd of volunteer troop greeters. The week marked a milestone for the MSP Armed Forces Service Center (AFSC), as the volunteer organization greeted its 100th arrival of flights carrying troops to and from active combat zones. The AFSC troop greeter program welcomed its first flight in 2006 and has since served over 30,000 military personnel.

AFSC Executive Director Debra Cain said, “The significance of the 100th flight milestone is truly full circle as many of the same volunteers with us today were also our very first troop greeters.” Cain noted that in addition to greeting the flights, the busy volunteers also work shifts in the center. Many of the greeters also welcome troops arriving – even in the middle of the night – by bus. “There are times when our troop greeters come in at midnight to meet the buses and stay in the morning to welcome the troops arriving by plane. Our dedicated volunteers are truly proud to ‘serve those who serve’,” said Cain.

The Armed Forces Service Center (AFSC) was founded in 1970 as a non-profit organization that supports active-duty military, their dependents, and activated reservists and national guardsmen when they fly from, through, or to MSP. Located on the mezzanine level above ticketing in the Lindbergh Terminal, the AFSC is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides military personnel complimentary supplies and services in addition to big smiles and warm greetings.

The AFSC relies on funding from fraternal organizations, individuals, private businesses, and even some airport vendors such as Caribou Coffee and McDonalds that regularly provide coffee and meals for arriving troops. Additionally, the AFSC offers numerous amenities in their facility ranging from the use of a free cell phone, a satellite TV, computers with free Wi-Fi, sleeping facilities for men and women, full kitchen with complimentary snacks, wake-up calls, and even toys, games and a baby crib for children.

Cain credited many other organizations that help to make the troop greeter program a success, including the airport police, the Metropolitan Airports Commission, air carriers, the Transportation Security Administration, and Customs and Border Patrol. “It’s ‘Minnesota Nice’ at its best when so many different groups can effectively come together for the single purpose of welcoming our troops,” said Cain.

Cain added, “The response and the gratitude from the troops are what keep us going. They are the brave men and women putting themselves in harm’s way providing service to our country, yet they always take the time to thank us for our support. Some troops have told us that having our group on hand to greet and serve them brought tears to their eyes. That’s why we do it, so they know they're not forgotten.”

For more information on the Armed Forces Service Center, please visit http://www.mnafsc.org/

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=5932624&lang=en

Business Wire

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